‘Take damage cost out of benefit cash’

Landlord Sean Feeney surveys the scene of devastation in his property on Westmoreland Avenue in Blackpool
Landlord Sean Feeney surveys the scene of devastation in his property on Westmoreland Avenue in Blackpool
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A LANDLORD is calling for more support from the council after DSS tenants trashed his rental property.

Sean Feeney claims the couple, who rented a house from him on Westmorland Avenue, Blackpool, left it with flooded floors, doors hanging off hinges and rubbish piled high.

He said: “I’m now left to clear up at my expense. Rental income does not cover or allow for this sort of thing. Why are they allowed to get away with it? Surely the tenant has a responsibility to leave the property in a reasonable state.”

The situation with the former tenants deteriorated so much with street drinking, abuse of neighbours, littering, noise nuisance, and stones being thrown at people and properties, the local neighbourhood police team got involved.

After discussions with the landlord, police agreed to serve a section 21 notice, ordering the family to leave.

A Blackpool Police spokesman said: “We were made aware of issues of anti-social behaviour and worked together with the landlord and residents to remove the tenants.”

Mr Feeney said he spent £4,000 on the property before the couple moved in two years ago – and will now have to spend another £5,000 to get it back in order to re-rent.

He had already had to pay out £650 to have rubbish removed from the property.

The disgruntled landlord, who rents a number of properties in Blackpool, added: “The rent is often paid direct to the tenant and it can be very difficult to obtain the money.

“You give them a tenancy agreement but it doesn’t mean anything to them and the deposit doesn’t cover anywhere near the trouble.

“The taxpayer is already paying for these people to have their council tax and housing benefit because they’re not working. The tenant should pay to have the rubbish they have left behind removed – not the council or the landlord. If damages were taken out of their benefits, they would think twice about leaving these properties in such a state.”

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “Our Housing Options Team can offer advice and guidance to private landlords on all aspects on conducting a tenancy, including the legal issues which should be considered.”