We've all found the odd bit of rubbish when moving house, perhaps some dusty junk in the loft or a few old utensils at the back of the kitchen cupboards.
Yet one buyer was not prepared for what faced him in the property he purchased at auction – 40 years of hoarded rubbish stuffed into every room.
The scary mess was discovered by property developer Mehmet Koch, 33, who bought the terraced house in north London as an investment with his brother Abbas.
An elderly couple had previously lived in the £450,000 house and would not allow him in to view it, so when he finally got the keys this week he was shocked to discover the house was so full of rubbish he could barely get up the stairs.
The 10 rooms in the four-story house were shoulder-high in old clothes, shopping bags, discarded food wrappers, toys, magazines, newspapers and discarded furniture
Mr Koch said: "I thought I was having a nightmare - I have never seen anything like this before.
"We just said 'How on earth are we going to clean this up?'."
"When we saw it, we just felt sorry for the people who lived here at first. I mean, how could anyone live like this in the 21st century? There was no running water, no electricity and no gas."
Neighbours said a reclusive couple in their 70s had lived in the house since the 1960s.
Mr Koch said: "We had come to see the property from the outside but the couple who live here would not let us in so we never saw inside.
"They had just been confined to one or two rooms and the garden was a forest. We're very worried we're not going to make a profit now because it needs so much work."
According to reports, the Kochs' clean-up operation has seen workers discard the rubbish in the front garden, provoking anger from residents. Islington Council has served notice on the landlords, which could see them prosecuted if the rubbish is not removed quickly.
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