A landlord has been devastated after seeing the state his flat was left in after tenants moved out. Lee Locking received the keys to his property after renting it out for the last half-decade to find every room filled with trash.
Among the debris were bags upon bags of cans and bottles, old clothes, mountains of rotting food and cat feces in the bathtub. In fact, our photographer said it was the “worst place” he’d been in his 20-year career.
Lee claims the tenant told him he could keep the apartment’s deposit to cover the mess, but the landlord was shocked to see the extent of the apartment. He says he feels disappointed with the letting agents who handled the property and claims they shouldn’t have let the apartment get as bad as it did.
Now Lee, 56, faces the daunting task of making the Swansea property livable, which will include a new bathroom, new kitchen and new carpets, not to mention clearing what he says is the three to four tons of waste left behind.
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Lee said every time he set foot in the Waunarlwydd house it made him feel dirty. He said: “Every room is a state. I can’t even go in without wanting to take a shower immediately afterwards.
“When I first went to the property I had brought the dog with me. I opened the door and the smell just hit me. I took a look at the mess in the stairs, I closed the door and put the dog back in the car, because there was no way I was letting the dog in.
“I have no idea where the person slept. A neighbor said he saw the tenant taking a mattress from the house and assumed he was being taken to the dump. After seeing the state of ownership, I’m not so sure.”
Every room in the property is filled to the brim with some sort of clutter. The kitchen contains jars and boxes of rotten food, a litter box full of feces, and empty milk cartons. In one of the other rooms, the floor is not visible, covered with garbage bags, take-out containers, Amazon boxes and clothes.
The bathroom is one of the worst rooms in the house, with the tub covered in old cat feces. The toilet seat is pretty much hanging on the bowl, while the toilet is filthy and surrounded by old plastic bags, used tissues and empty food packets.
When the tenant handed over the keys, Lee claims he was told he could keep the £400 deposit to “take care of the mess”. But Lee reckons the cost of making the place habitable again will be much higher. He said: “It will easily cost me a few thousand, I will have to replace all the carpets, the kitchen, the bathroom. I was told there was at least three to four tons of rubbish to clean up. I’ I’m at the breaking point with this.”
Since Lee has no previous rental experience, he decided to hand over management of the property to rental agents, John Francis. Lee says he feels let down by the company and claims they shouldn’t have let the apartment get as bad as it did.
“I understand that people can have mental health issues, and keeping control of cleaning can be difficult for them, and I really feel for them, but John Francis has allowed it to come to this state.”
Lee continued, “I feel really annoyed and angry that I let them manage my property for the past five years and it was returned to me in this condition. They were supposed to review the tenants and be the main point of contact for any issues The apartment was supposed to be pet friendly but there was clearly a cat in the property They took 12% plus VAT for five years and now they let me in limbo.”
A John Francis spokesperson said: “John Francis Lettings takes any customer complaint very seriously. We receive a formal complaint from the owner and are currently investigating. We will communicate directly with the owner to resolve the issues. ” Get stories from Swansea straight to your inbox with our newsletter.