A landlord has been left devastated after seeing the condition his flat has been left in after his tenants moved out. Lee Locking received the keys to his property after renting it out for the past half a decade to find every room piled high with rubbish.
Amongst the debris were bags upon bags of cans and bottles, old clothes, mountains of rotting food and cat faeces in the bathtub. In fact our photographer said it was the “worst place” he’d been during a 20-year career.
Lee claims the tenant told him that he could keep the deposit for the flat to cover the mess, but the landlord was shocked to see the extent of the flat. He says he feels let down by the letting agents who managed the property, and claims they should not have allowed the flat to get as bad as it has.
Now, Lee, 56, faces the daunting task of making the property in Swansea liveable, which will include a new bathroom, new kitchen and new carpets, not to mention disposing of what he says is the three to four tons of rubbish left behind.
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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 neighbor 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.”
Each and every room in the property is filled to the brim with some sort of mess. The kitchen contains jars and boxes of rotting food, a litter tray which is piled high with faeces, and empty cartons of milk. In one of the other rooms, the floor is not visible, covered in bin bags, takeaway containers, Amazon boxes and clothes.
The bathroom is one of the worst rooms in the house, with the bathtub covered in old cat faeces. The toilet seat is just about hanging on to the bowl, while the toilet is filthy, and surrounded by old plastic bags, used tissue and empty food packets.
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 is at least three to four tons of rubbish to clear. I’ m at breaking point with it.”
As Lee has no previous experience with renting, he decided to entrust the property to be managed by letting agents, John Francis. Lee says he feels let down by the company, and claims that they should not have allowed the flat to get as bad as it has.
“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.”
Lee continued: “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 in 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.” Get Swansea stories straight to your inbox with our newsletter.