The mess and damage homeowners claim was left by renters.
The mess and damage homeowners claim was left by renters. Contributed

Landlord's nightmare: Rental home trashed

TWO Mackay region home owners are distraught after their rental property was allegedly damaged and covered in filth by tenants who they claim left behind cigarette butts, syringes, urine, dead cane toads and rotting rubbish.

Landlords Steven and Tanya Jeffrey said they had just completed more than $10,000 in renovations to the property when they began leasing to the couple.

"They started getting behind in rent straight away,” Mr Jeffrey said.

"It was a constant battle to get them to pay, so we finally decided to give them notice to leave.

"They wouldn't, so we had to go to court and get a warrant so we could go in and remove them from the property... when I got there I went in and it looked as though they'd just abandoned the house.

"I couldn't even describe to you the smell. There was bags and bags of rotting rubbish; for some reason at least a dozen dead cane toads - some that had been smashed up against walls.

"(There was dirt and cigarette butts everywhere; someone had urinated on one of the walls... we found needles, leftover drugs, even a machete.”

According to Mr Jeffrey, the damages could cost the couple another $10,000 in cleaning fees and repairs, with insurance unlikely to cover much of the bill.

"We have landlords' insurance but apparently there's a glitch in the policy we had, which may not cover the damages,” he said.

"We're absolutely devastated. We've been renting for many years and have had some great tenants but these guys were just bottom of the barrel.

"It's honestly heartbreaking, we took out a small loan for the renovations and they've come in and completely undid all our work. I'll most likely have to dip into my long service leave just to get the place up to a liveable standard again.”

With the aim of warning other home owners, Ms Jeffrey took to Facebook to share her experience on a community page. Soon afterwards she had several other landlords detailing similar encounters.

According to Mr Jeffrey, he and Ms Jeffrey must prove malicious damage took place in order to take the incident further.

"I would never treat someone's place the way they have, it's nothing short of disgusting and there's really not much we can do,” he said.

"We've put in a police report and they can interview them.

"We can end up in court but at the end of the day it's not like they can afford to pay for it all.

"We just hope this gets other home owners to be vigilant, do their references and background checks and hopefully never end up in the same ordeal as we have.”

When contacted by the Daily Mercury yesterday, police confirmed they were aware of the incident and investigations were under way.

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