Officials in Oxford have received a record number of complaints from tenants over the standard of their rented accommodation during the last 12 months.

According to the Oxford Mail, 1,600 lodgers contacted the city council to express concern at problems ranging from collapsed ceilings to rat infestations.

Officers also brought 19 landlords before the courts, compared with just three the year before.

A number of homeowners have faced prosecution for failing to maintain their properties, with one case resulting in a £17,500 fine for renting out an unsafe house.

Ed Turner, council executive member for housing, told the newspaper that authorities were committed to putting a stop to landlords renting out unhealthy and dangerous properties.

"The message to these landlords is clear - we will find out who you are, and when we have done that we will prosecute,"he pledged.

Earlier this week, the Evening Star reported on an Ipswich landlord who received a £1,000 fine after authorities found 19 people living in his unlicensed property.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18943898-ADNFCR

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