ROGUE landlords who left boilers leaking carbon monoxide, rooms covered in mould and others infested with rats have been slapped with fines totalling £70,000 since 2013.

And city council housing bosses have promised to continue their crackdown on Southampton's worst offenders.

In a meeting last week, civic chiefs revealed that they had managed 15 successful prosecutions against landlords who breached the council rules for houses of multiple occupancies (HMOs).

Cabinet member for sustainable living, councillor Chris Hammond, said that the prosecutions followed inspections by council staff for landlords hoping to gain a HMO licence.

He said that if inspectors spot a problem, such as mould or overcrowding, they can then issue a hazard letter demanding the landlord take action.

Those who don't can then be taken to court.

Councillor Hammond said: "We've seen some horrendous places with rats, mould, and unconnected boilers leaking gas.

"Every time it's the residents who are suffering.

"I think we've managed to reduce the number of rogue landlords in the city by showing that we will take action."

Councillor Hammond said that the authority had also recouped £11,000 in legal costs and £2000 in compensation for residents.