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Mum's home trashed, faeces on walls and floors

Outside the back door.
Outside the back door.

"IT WAS five months of pure hell."

That's the only way Katrina Lane can describe her experience renting to the same couple who left a Sharon property trashed.

Ms Lane, a single working mum with five children, said she needed to go to Brisbane for her special needs son to receive medical treatment.

Because she wanted to rent her home out for a short time, and with the cost of real estate fees, she decided to lease it privately.

"We moved down to Brisbane, I had to rent out my house to make ends meet," Ms Lane said.

The Bundaberg mum said she was approached by a couple around Easter last year who said they had two children.

"They had great references, ledgers. I met them and their two children," she said.

 

The people who trashed a Sharon house reported in the NewsMail this week also left Katrina Lane's house in a disgusting state, with slime in the pool and faeces through the home.
The people who trashed a Sharon house reported in the NewsMail this week also left Katrina Lane's house in a disgusting state, with slime in the pool and faeces through the home.

Ms Lane handed over the keys to her home, and her cat, after the couple said they would look after it while she was away.

Nothing seemed to be a problem until calls started coming in from neighbours.

"Three weeks into their lease I had my neighbours say there were 11 people there," Mrs Lane said.

"At the time it was school holidays so I thought maybe they just had other people staying with them."

But Ms Lane said she soon learned the truth about the number of people living in her home.

 

Stains on a bedroom carpet.
Stains on a bedroom carpet.

"When I asked her about the application she said 'well you never would have rented to me if I said how many children we've got'," she said.

By the time Ms Lane got back to her property, she would encounter something she could only describe as a "nightmare".

"They rented a lovely five-bedroom home with a swimming pool by the beach," she said.

But all that had changed in just five months.

 

Faeces on a carpet.
Faeces on a carpet.

"When I went back I expected I'd have to do some cleaning, but cleaning was not the word," Ms Lane said.

"They must have left my place when I told them their lease wasn't going to be renewed.

"The swimming pool was full of slime - not just dirt but slime.

"I left my son's trampoline there, they destroyed it."

 

Inside the pantry.
Inside the pantry.

Ms Lane said things were so bad, even hardened cleaners balked at the idea of taking on the job.

"I had a commercial cleaner come in, she just went 'I can't do this' - it was horrid," she said.

"There were bags of food buried in the yard with things like jars of pasta sauce in them.

 

Her son's special therapy trampoline was left trashed.
Her son's special therapy trampoline was left trashed.

"There was faeces up cupboards, there was cat litter just piled in places.

"They put a lock on the pantry, they wrote on cupboards."

Ms Lane said another blow to her family was the state of their pet cat.

"They said they'd look after our cat, but when we got back the cat was emaciated," she said.

Ms Lane said her son was affected badly by the incident.

"His cat was malnourished, his room was just trashed," she said.

 

Urine stains on carpet.
Urine stains on carpet.

"They'd obviously emptied cat litter at the back door of my place.

"They broke the pool pump in the first month because they didn't clean the leaves out and that was a condition in the lease."

Ms Lane said her family was still working on repairs to the home, leaving them out of pocket.

"It's just heartbreaking," she said, adding that her insurer paid nothing in the aftermath.

"I had all the correct insurances and the insurers said they just call this bad living practices and not wilful damage, but if the police come out they call it wilful damage.

"You just think 'where's it gonna end' and financially it doesn't end."

Ms Lane said while the couple paid their rent, it didn't justify the condition her home was left in.

"I had to work for four hours just to clean the ensuite toilet just so the ladies helping me clean could use it," she said.

"We had to leave everything open for about a week.

"It is soul-destroying.

"I think they prey on the fact that people are away, and won't be able to inspect, to get away with it."

Ms Lane said it took "weeks and weeks and weeks" to get through the initial cleaning and disinfecting.

"The depravity is what really gets me," she said.

"There were bags of food buried in the yard with things like jars of pasta sauce in them.

"Financially we'll never recover."

Topics:  editors picks renting tenancy