TORBAY Council has taken the fight against rogue landlords to a house in Torquay.
Officers have served an emergency prohibition order on the property in the Upton Road area. They say the dilapidated property has to be closed on grounds of public safety.
There have also been incidents of anti-social behaviour.
The owner of the property, which has 12 letting rooms, has been given a bill of £300 and told to clean up the cottage.
A Torbay Council spokesman said: "An emergency prohibition order has been served on a property in Torquay under the Housing Act by the housing standards team of Torbay Council.
"This has been issued on the property on the grounds of safety, although there have also been issues of anti-social behaviour.
"This piece of partnership working forms part of the mayor's rogue landlord programme to improve the quality of accommodation in Torbay and ensure landlords take their responsibility seriously."
The council worked with police and other agencies due to the complexity of the issues at the property. The spokesman added: "The legal notice will require the landlord to undertake works to make the property safe before it can be re-occupied.
"Until this is done all housing benefits payment related to the property have been stopped.
"The landlord has also been charged £300 for serving the notice.
"The property will be secured which will be undertaken by the local authority if the landlord does not comply.
"The situation will be closely monitored by all agencies. If the property is occupied and the landlord found to be in breach of the emergency prohibition order, they can be prosecuted.
"This follows similar action undertaken by the local authority last December when a landlord was successful prosecuted for not complying with the prohibition order served by the local authority for allowing tenants to remain in the property."
Neighbours said they had seen the property slowly deteriorate in the last few years to the point where people could be seen entering and exiting through windows. Some of the windows are broken with boards placed up against them.