Doncaster Council has payed out £100,000 to a borough property landlord who threatened to take the authority to court over alleged slander.
Private landlord Rod Bloor claimed the council had made unfounded remarks about his honesty to people who were looking to use his services to rent property.
Now, the authority has agreed a statement confirming his honesty, as well as paying out the £100,000 towards his legal costs.
The council says it does not yet know the extent of its own legal costs over the case and denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Bloor, who owns a major property portfolio in the borough, said he thought the council’s costs could be up to £500,000, but the council says that is not the case.
Mr Bloor took the case to court after a fall out with the council. He said he had provided hundreds of homes to vulnerable people at the request of the authority in the past, but his relationship with the authority had deteriorated after he had won an appeal over council tax payments, after changes to housing benefit regulations.
He claimed the council had subsequently slandered him by making disparaging remarks to people who had property to rent, a claim the council denies.
He said: “I’m elated in the respect that my name has been cleared.”
He said the case had left him over £200,000 out of pocket in terms of his own legal costs, even after taking into account of the council’s payment to him.
Mr Bloor owned 100 homes at one point. Now he owns around 60.
The case was withdrawn at the 11th hour after an agreed statement was confirmed stating: “DMBC is able to confirm that any allegation Mr Bloor was untrustworthy, dishonest or had fabricated documents, would be false.
“DMBC and Mr Bloor are pleased to confirm that this action has now been concluded to the satisfaction of both parties."
Debbie Hogg, Doncaster Council’s Director of Corporate Resources, said: “Mr Bloor issued High Court proceedings against the council which we have defended. As a result, unnecessary court costs have been incurred. At the eleventh hour Mr Bloor decided to withdraw his claim, as confirmed by the court, which underlines our view that this case was not substantiated and has now been concluded.”