A former landlord said he was forced to live in rented accommodation himself after his tenant refused to move out of the property he owned.

The man, who wished to be known only as Mr Parkinson, now lives in Colne and has called for greater legal protection for landlords, and says the tenant ‘took advantage of the eviction ban’.

This led to him being left thousands of pounds of out of pocket and damage being caused to the property.

Mr Parkinson has had to shell out £34,000 on repairs to the property caused by the tenant and legal costs, and has also missed £4,000 in unpaid rent.

He said he had no issues with his initial tenants, but it was his last tenant - who he said had bad credit and was only handed the tenancy 'out of sympathy' - that caused problems.

He said: “I was persuaded by an estate agent to let my house instead of selling it.

“Successive tenants were perfectly happy but had good reasons to move on. One left to move in with his girlfriend. Another moved over 'an opportunity they couldn't refuse'.

“Whenever there were issues, I authorised contractors to ensure the property was to a good standard.”

He went on: “I made the mistake of letting it, out of sympathy, to the last one despite bad credit.

“In the meantime, I was living in rented accommodation. I had a property that I owned and wanted to sell but could not evict the tenant. It was a surreal situation to be in.”

The mess that was left by the tenant resulted in a loss of about £34,000 and a further £4,000 in lost rent, which he cannot recoup as he does not know where they have moved to.

Mr Parkinson said: “This was a house that I bought for myself for £100,000."

“Because I cannot trace the tenant, I cannot even try to recover the rent, even though I have the warrant.”

He said the government had a responsibility to ensure that landlords were better protected.

He said: “Unfortunately, all landlords, irrespective of circumstances, are considered to be the most heinous of entities.

“This is not the case; there are many hard-working people who are taken advantage of and there is nothing they can do to recoup their lost earnings.”

He was left with legal bills, cleaning and repairs and other losses which were out of his control. The house was 85 miles away from where he was living and working.

He has since sold the property for £94,000 despite his investment of £115,000 and a lot of work.

Mr Parkinson has raised the issue with Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson but said he was not able to get any help.

Correspondence seen by the Lancashire Telegraph shows Mr Stephenson has raised the issue with ministers ona number of occasions and provided advice to Mr Parkinson.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a ban on bailiff evictions was brought in to protect renters.

The Renters’ (Reform) Bill was introduced to parliament with aims to deliver the government’s 2019 manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 so called ‘no fault’ evictions, which empower renters to challenge poor landlords without fear of losing their home.

The new Bill was also said to offer protection to more than two million landlords, making it easier for them to recover properties when they need to – so they can sell their property if they want to, move in a close family member, or when tenants wilfully do not pay rent.

Notice periods would also be reduced where tenants have been irresponsible for example breaching their tenancy agreement or causing damage to the property.

The reforms aimed to ‘strengthen powers to evict anti-social tenants, broadening the disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction and making it quicker to evict a tenant acting anti-socially’.

Mr Parkinson said he would not encourage anyone to buy a property to let, adding the soaring rents and shortage of lets ‘was a result of the mistreatment of small landlords’.

“I would discourage anyone from buying-to-let," he said.

"However well-meaning, landlords are inherently viewed as profiteering villains, despite the liabilities and diminutive returns.

“I don't think rules protect small landlords. Large letting corporations, on the other hand, are quite capable of protecting themselves. These are the sort that are succeeding.”

In October the Government came under fire from Tory MPs over its plans to reform the rental sector, even after ministers indefinitely delayed the promised ban on “no-fault” evictions.

A series of Conservative MPs voiced their opposition to the Renters Reform Bill, saying it would add ‘to the burden of landlords’.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove wrote to Tory backbenchers to say the ban on “no-fault” section 21 evictions promised as part of the legislation will not be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the legal system.

The Bill received an unopposed second reading and will undergo further scrutiny at a later stage.