A woman who returned to Britain after years abroad was horrified to discover her home had been wrecked by the people she rented it to – knocking thousands off the value.
Claire Deane, 34, was looking forward to relaxing in her house after her five year South American adventure.
But instead of the property being thoroughly cleaned and empty, she discovered the tenants were still there – and the house was ”ruined”.
Before and after pictures show how her two-bed terraced house was left with broken doors and windows, mountains of filth, and massive holes in the walls.
Claire says the property, in Gravesend, Kent, has lost an estimated £20,000 in value.
She says she is unable to move back to her own house because the company she paid over £6000 to look after it has “disappeared” – and the tenants are refusing to leave.
She says the Property Shop Estate Agents, based in Gravesend, led Claire to believe there were regular checks and all was in order.
But Claire says the company has now left her in a despairing situation after going into liquidation – because the renters refused to leave.
Claire is now homeless and relying on the kindness of friends to survive.
Claire said: “What started out five years ago as an adventure of a life time travelling in South America unfortunately ended with the sad realisation of how people can have such disrespect for other people’s possessions and complete lack of morals to allow this to happen.
“The tenants were due to move out on 29 August, so I was shocked to find the house in a complete state with them still living there.
“The man admitted to fighting with his girlfriend, which may explain the holes in the wall, and their four year old daughter is sleeping on a mattress. They said the agency hadn’t been round once.
“They were then supposed to move out on 7 September and now I live in hope they will move out today (Sat).
“I don’t know whether to scream or cry.”
Claire has not been paid rent since 27 July, and received a letter from a solvency agency on the day the tenants were supposed to be moving out, saying the The Property Shop Limited had gone into liquidation due to “poor company practice”.
She said: “The only job The Property Shop managed to do was collect the rent so they could take their 12 per cent every month.
“Over the five year period they have taken £5,400 plus VAT from me.
“On arrival back to the UK it became apparent they did nothing as specified in the contract and left my house to rot with tenants who appear to live like pigs.
“It looks worse in real life, the pictures don’t show the stains and smells which cover the place.”
Claire cannot get any response from the estate agents, and has had to hire another agency to evaluate the damage and help her proceed.
She said: “I potentially have lost around £20,000 in the selling price of my house and I just don’t know if I can afford the repairs to enable me to live in the house.
“I may be forced to sell in its current state at a low price to avoid additional debt.”
“I’m currently looking for jobs but I still have to pay the mortgage on the house, whilst staying at friends which is not ideal.
“Between them all they’ve destroyed my property, and I don’t want them to put someone else through this ordeal.”