A family in Blackpool have moved out of their rental property - leaving a trail of filth and destruction behind them. The family were said to have caused the damage during the leaving party they held to celebrate being given a new council house.
The landlord said that tenants were leaving properties in a worse state than ever - but that this was the most appalling destruction he had ever seen.
Sean Feeney, a 69 year old builder and landlord told the Blackpool Gazette that he had spent £5,000 renovating the three bedroom property before the family moved in. He was horrified when he went round after they vacated - and discovered that it needed a £2,000 clean-up operation.
Not only was their filth and rubbish strewn around the house, but they had daubed graffiti on the walls, and turned the furniture over.
Feeney told the Daily Mail: "I have been renting out properties for over 30 years now and I have definitely seen the state tenants are leaving properties in get worse and worse. This lot have behaved no better than a pack of wild animals."
He speculated whether the fact that the council had paid their rent, and social services had found the furniture for them, meant they had no respect for the value of the home and their belongings. However, there has been a rise in tenants from hell of all kinds.
Not the firstPat Barber, Chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, said: "We are seeing a rise in the number of bad tenants and have been shocked by the damage and neglect we have found in properties and their grounds."
"Time and time again we see damage to carpets, furnishings, skirtings, door frames; front and rear gardens full of rubbish; old white goods, car parts, rusty bikes, scooters, pushchair and hoovers strewn across the front of the property; tenants that sublet without authorisation; several pets in the property without permission; and nuisance tenants who hold rowdy late night parties and have a stream of shady and noisy visitors, day and night."
"We had a recent case of a middle aged woman who lived in a 2 bedroom cottage-style property for several years. The landlord was happy collecting the rent and never heard a word from her. On Check Out day the place was completely trashed. A couple of doors were literally pulled off their hinges, badly cracked and splintered. Large areas of wallpaper had been torn away and there were several holes and burns in carpets."
"A mattress was left in the garden soaking wet from a recent rainfall and the place was generally filthy. The landlord was shocked – she had given notice to the tenant as she wanted to sell the property. But the disgruntled tenant obviously wanted to make things as difficult for the landlord as she could."
Landlord websites are filled with anecdotal evidence from people who report thousands of pounds of damage from tenants - many of whom have been evicted for non-payment of rent. They include a family of five who caused £8,000 of damage to a property in Mitcham before they were evicted. The council funded their legal bills to fight the eviction too. Then there was the four-bedroom home left in ruins by tenants who smashed windows and ripped out the kitchen - the landlord took six months to get them evicted.
One famous example featured on The One Show last year - when the landlady spoke about council tenants who were not paying their rent - leaving her £4400 in rental arrears. After the case was broadcast on the BBC, the tenants moved on, but took much of the landlord's furniture and wrecked the home.
She said: "I am obviously thrilled to have regained possession following the notice served by Landlord Action which has avoided further rent arrears and additional court fees, but I still face being thousands of pounds out of pocket. I will have to make-over the entire property and replace furniture in order to let it again. I think the tenants should be made to pay."
Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action says this is not an uncommon scenario. Tenants can feel aggrieved after being asked to leave. But he adds, "In this case it seems the TV exposure may have made these people more upset". Even though the house in Bracknell was shown on screen, the tenant was interviewed and the landlord is very shocked at their behaviour.