Mum returns from holiday to find home gutted


The right and the wrong properties

A family from Gorton, Manchester, returned from holiday to discover that their home had been completely gutted. They thought they had been the victims of destructive burglars, but the truth was far odder.

A housing association had stripped their home by mistake.

The Manchester Evening News reported that all sorts of valuables had gone: curtains, carpets, a fridge freezer, a washing machine and even clothes from the wardrobes.

According to the Mirror, the family called the police, who discovered that they hadn't been burgled - the home had been cleared by a housing association (despite the fact that their home isn't a housing association property).

Apparently workers had misread the house number, and instead of clearing a home at the other end of the street, they had broken into this one.

The Daily Mail reported that the family did not want to speak to the press, as they had reached an arrangement with the housing association. The association confirmed to the newspaper that there had been a mix up, but that they had replaced the goods and apologised.

Wrong home

It seems like a bizarre mistake, but there are a shocking number of times when the authorities have got the wrong home - with weird consequences.

Earlier this month, dementia patient Lilian Taylor, aged 88, was driven from Homerton Hospital in Hackney to her former address. A confused elderly man answered the door, and staff simply tucked Taylor up in a bed upstairs and left. Her son raised the alarm seven hours later when it emerged that she hadn't returned to her sheltered care home.

A month earlier a man in Michigan was due to have his home demolished. In an effort to protect it, he swapped house numbers with the home next door, and they tore down his neighbour's house instead. The demolition crews realised their error shortly afterwards and tore down the correct house too.

In July a family in Ohio returned from holiday to find the home ransacked, emptied, and the locks changed. A bank had accidentally repossessed it. They had been aiming to repossess the home across the street and two doors down, but apparently faulty GPS led them to the wrong property.

And in August, a drunken man accidentally stumbled into a neighbour's house in Kansas City. He was challenged by the homeowner, but refused to leave. They were then embroiled in a brawl until the police arrived.