A LOCAL councillor is urging private tenants who are unhappy with their landlords to get in touch.

Coun Kevin Williams, who represents the Kingstone ward and chairs the Central Area Council, issued the plea this week.

It comes following a recent spike in private tenants complaining about damp and mould.

He has been advised of several cases which have seemingly involved so-called ‘rogue landlords’, who refuse to answer telephone calls from tenants, fail to make repairs on time and have leave tenants in cold, damp properties.

He told the Chronicle: “Although there are some good landlords out there, I’m worried by a recent increase in tenant complaints especially with regards to damp, mould and condensation.

“I have heard of one tenant whose boiler hasn't been working since December last year and despite numerous phone calls to the landlord remained broken throughout the festive season and beyond; that’s unacceptable.

“I believe that private tenants require protection from rogue landlords, determined to just take the rent and not make homes safe and secure.

“I strongly suspect there are more cases in my area from folk who may be afraid to seek help.

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“I want to hear from tenants affected. I can be contacted via 07736 197054 or email via cllrkevinwilliams@barnsley.gov.uk.”

Barnsley Council has a dedicated team to support private tenants and although it’s the landlord’s duty to maintain the property, carry out repairs and make sure the property meets safety standards.

The council can take action to support tenants, inspect the property and contact the landlord to talk about the repairs.