A landlord has been ordered to pay £400 in legal costs after failing to remove rubbish from the gardens of two different properties.

Babar Shah, of Johnston Street, Blackburn, was also given a 12 month conditional discharge on 16 February.

The charges followed a series of complaints about household waste being stored in the front and rear gardens of his properties, located on Johnston Street and Snowdon Avenue.

The council tried to liaise with the 44-year-old regarding these complaints, yet he failed to rectify the issue within a specified time period. Fines were proved in absence after he then failed to attend Blackburn Magistrates Court.

Mr Shah lives at Johnston Street and is also the owner of Snowden Avenue, resulting in the Environmental Waste Crime Team pursuing the landlord rather than the property tenant.

Cllr Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: "The Environmental Waste Crime Team has been working hard throughout the pandemic to ensure that our borough is kept clean and tidy, and the issued fines prove this. 

"Allowing waste to pile up is completely unacceptable and Blackburn with Darwen deserves better. Not only is it a terrible blight on the environment, but it also shows a lack of regard for neighbours and the surrounding community, who often have  deal with bad smells and rodents as a result.

"For anyone tolerating a neighbour’s mess, or dealing with waste problems of their own, I encourage you to please get in touch and report any issues. You can do this via the Council website. Our team are more than happy to help!"

So far this working year, the Environmental Waste Crime Team have handled 41 successful prosecutions, received payment for 54 fixed penalty notices and issued four simple cautions – a means of dealing with low-level (mainly first-time) offending without a prosecution.