A STARK warning has gone out to "irresponsible" landlords following a spate of fly-tipping incidents in Darlington’s back lanes.

There have been several incidents reported in recent weeks in which a previous tenants’ furniture and other items have been either dumped in the lane at the rear of properties or taken away and fly-tipped elsewhere.

The council have now hit out at "a small minority" who are abusing the system by behaving irresponsibly.  

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s deputy leader, said: “While we appreciate most landlords do the right thing, there is a small minority who are behaving completely irresponsibly, and this is not acceptable.

“Our Street Scene staff are working hard to keep the borough’s back lanes and streets clear of litter and rubbish, and our civic enforcement officers are carrying out investigations to track down those responsible.

Read more: Top 10 areas in Darlington for fly-tipping

“We’re also making use of new covert and overt techniques, including cameras and are warning landlords that we take a very dim view of such activity and will take action. 

"When they are caught they will face very high, unlimited fines or even a term of imprisonment, and at the very least a £400 fixed penalty notice!”

The council said it's keen to work with residents and landlords to tackle fly tipping to improve the quality of life for all.

“If you, as a landlord or resident, need to get rid of furniture or other items we would urge you to take them to the tip, book one of our bulky waste collections or perhaps donate it to charity, Cllr Dulston added. 

"However, if you do decide to use a private waste contractor make sure they are genuine and are licensed by the Environment Agency.”

Read more: Zero prosecutions despite Darlington fly-tipping increasing

Most household waste such as furniture, cookers, rugs, furnishings, electrical items and toys, can be left at the tip free of charge if you take it in your car.  Slots must be booked in advance – for more details and to book visit www.darlington.gov.uk/tip

The cost for a Bulky Wase Collection for up to six items is £18.80 – for more details and to book a collection visit www.darlington.gov.uk/bulkywaste

Several charities such as Frade, Kings Church, British Heart Foundation and St Teresa’s Hospice can take unwanted furniture and electrical items if they are still in reasonable condition and working order and some will collect.

If you see someone fly-tipping, you can report it at www.darlington.gov.uk/reportit

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