A city landlord who has been told by Worcester City Council he faces a £2,500 fine if he does not clear up "unsightly" rubbish from his properties' gardens has hit back, claiming he has tried to remove the waste... but the council will not let him.

The Evening News reported on Saturday how three landlords in Tolladine are due to be served with notices telling to clean up their act by the end of March or face a hefty fine.

However, Jim Bennet (right), who owns a number of the offending homes in Avon Road and Teme Road, said he has tried on several occasions to dispose of the rubbish himself using his transit van - but has been stopped in his tracks.

"They have asked me to clear the mess and I've tried. But, because I run a business, I am not allowed remove it myself," he told the Evening News.

"They have even threatened to take my van off me.

Bureaucratic red tape

"It's just bureaucratic red tape."

Mr Bennett said many of his tenants were "on benefit" and had no vehicle or means of disposing of the waste - which includes discarded furniture, concrete and metal.

He also claims illegal fly-tippers are responsible for some of the mess.

"The council won't point the finger at fly-tippers, so the landlords are victimised," he said.

Mike Harrison, head of environmental services at Worcester City Council, said he recognised Mr Bennett was trying to clear the rubbish.

"Unfortunately, for a member of the public to take away rubbish in a vehicle they need a waste carrier license so we know there is no intention of illegal fly-tipping," he said.

"Without that license we have the power to confiscate the vehicle."

He added the council was working with Mr Bennett to try and find a solution.

"He would either have to pay us or a registered carrier to come and remove the rubbish or we are looking at providing a skip where he could provide his labour free of charge.

"But we have to be careful not to set a precedent."