A landlord has been left fuming after his former tenants destroyed his rental property – and told him he could keep their £400 security deposit.
Landlord Lee Locking has rented out the property for the past five years, but when the keys were handed back, it wasn’t quite how he remembered.
He revealed that the previous tenants had left every room in the flat piled high with rubbish bags containing cans, bottles, old clothes, and rotting food. The bathtub was also filled with cat faeces.
Lee claims the tenant told him that he could keep the deposit on the Swansea flat to cover the mess. Adding that he feels let down by the letting agents who managed the property, and the flat should not have been allowed to get as bad as it has.
Now the 56-year-old will need to complete extensive renovation work in order to make the flat liveable again – including a new bathroom, new kitchen, and new carpets on top of the daunting task of emptying and disposing of the rubbish.
Speaking to Wales Online, Lee said every time he steps foot in the house in Waunarlwydd, it leaves him feeling dirty. He said: "Every single room is a state. I can't even go in without wanting to shower immediately after.
"When I first went to the property, I'd taken the dog with me. I opened the door and the smell just hit me. I took one look at the mess up the stairs and closed the door and put the dog back in the car because there was no way I was letting the dog come in.
"I have no idea where the person slept. A neighbour said they saw the tenant take a mattress from the house and assumed it was being taken to the tip. After seeing the state of the property, I'm not so sure."
When the tenant handed over the keys, Lee claims he was told that he could keep the £400 deposit to "take care of the mess". But Lee reckons the cost of making the place liveable again will be much higher.
He said: "It'll easily cost me a few thousand, I'll need to replace all the carpets, the kitchen, the bathroom. I've been told there are at least three to four tonnes of rubbish to clear. I'm at a breaking point with it.
"I understand that people may struggle with their mental health, and keeping on top of cleaning might be tough for them, and I really feel for them, but John Francis allowed it to get to this state.
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"I feel really annoyed and angry that I've let them manage my property for the past five years and this is the state it's been returned to me in. They were supposed to vet the tenants and be the main point of contact for any problems. The flat was meant to be no pets allowed but there has clearly been a cat on the property. They've taken 12% plus VAT for five years and now they've left me in limbo."
A John Francis spokesperson said: "John Francis Lettings takes any customer complaint extremely seriously. We are in receipt of an official complaint from the landlord and which we are currently investigating. We will liaise directly with the landlord to resolve the issues."
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