Trashed House

Reporter: David Richardson

A rental house so badly trashed, it's beyond repair. this is the result of a farewell party. People were invited along to crash...and trash. The tenants from hell systemically destroying this home, room by room. "There's a place for them, it's called the Smithfield tip. And make sure they're right in the middle of it. Right in the middle of the guts. That's where they deserve to live. And that's how they leaves the places by the way."

Neighbour Judy Varden found it difficult to express her disgust."Just what they've done to the outside as well as the inside over time." "It's willful obscene damage. This is just to me a criminal offence. This has got the feeling of real evil about it." says Neil Jenman. This is what tenants did recently to a family home in northern NSW. It looks like a bomb hit it. "It dead set looks like a war zone. This is malicious damage. What better example have you got of malicious damage."

Consumer and Property Advocate Neil Jenman is dumbstruck by some tenants total lack of respect. "It should be CMYF which means clang. .mind. your. fingers. as the cell door closes on you. That's what it should be. Lock em up and toss the key away for a little while." But landlord rights are slowly being eroded away. In some states, they now have to give 90 days notice to tenants to quit, even when rent hasn't been paid.

Susan Harris now owns a small property that looks more like the local tip. Her tenant was thrown out after a court order for almost $3000 in unpaid rent. "What did you think when you came and saw this?" "Unbelievable. There's not words for it really. Oh. Disgusting. Totally disgusting." "You owe here $2,700 dollars is that right?" "Yep, says the tenant. I've already told the magistrate I'll pay that off in my own time."

Richard Hedley and his ex-defacto Nicole lived in the house for 2 years. They blame Susan Harris for the mess. "I'd say she's a rotten landlord. How can you charge someone $200 a week for a dog kennel." The repair and clean up bills will run into the thousands. Susan Harris admits she should never have rented her property out herself.

"Well I gave them a roof over their heads. I let him have a free sort of life. So I wouldn't do rent inspections, there was no bond, and I thought do the right thing, but because I told him he had to go, he's turned around and done this." "The problem is the landlord has not done the homework on the tenant. That's the problem. They got the pits of a tenant, a shit tenant. The worst one you could ever have and they copped it." says Property Manager Len Pretti. He has clashed with his share of bad tenants. He now has 1700 properties under his guard, protecting against dodgy tenants.

"They have no respect for people. total contempt for the landlord." "Do we need a much larger bond to cover for this sort of damage?" asks David Richardson. "How much are you going to charge? $10,000 for a bond? They can't even afford to pay 4-weeks. No. The answer to this is the tenant should pay the tenancy insurance. Not the landlord. And when there's a claim against the property it should go against the tenant not the landlord."That's the only way incidents like this can be wiped out; by making the tenants more responsible for damage they cause.

If you know of any tenants, let us know: tt@7perth.com.au