A Burnley landlord has called the condition of numerous nearby private residences "disgusting", claiming he would lose out on £4,000 a year in rent should his tenant move out due to the appalling state of the abandoned housing in the area.
The landlord, who wishes to remain anonymous, has owned the property on Florence Street off Accrington Road for 35 years and has rented to the same tenant since the turn of the Millennium, but claims that numerous dilapidated houses on the block left to rot by their owners are killing the area.
Seven of the 11 houses on the block are reportedly abandoned - their windows boarded up, attracting homeless people, rats, and damp - with people starting to move away and neglect their properties in the last five years, according to the landlord.
"Kids go in, rats go in, the windows are smashed, it's wide open: a homeless guy was asleep under the window in the front room [of one house]," said the landlord. "We've had problems with rats along the whole block. It's absolutely disgusting.
"They should be compulsory purchased," he added. "If not, then it should be the council's responsibility to contact the owners."
Due to the fact that the residences are privately owned, the council have said that they unfortunately can not do anything about the state of the properties in question, stating that, due to limited funding, Compulsory Purchase Orders can not be universally issued, and that the responsibility lies with the owners.
"We have the empty properties programme, but the responsibility for the upkeep of a property is ultimately down to the owner," said a spokesperson from the council.
The landlord, whose insurance went up by £500 a year after having to repair £7,000-worth of damage to his property caused by damp coming through from a toilet that leaked after the lead flashing was stolen in the abandoned house next to his, has said that soon the whole area could be abandoned.
"My tenant is debating whether to move, which if that is the case, I'd lose about £4,000 a year in rent," he explained. "I'll just have to board it up and leave it too. People can't sell, and people won't buy because of the state they're in.
"It's wearing me down," he said.