WHEN Leyburn home owner Kathy Beerens walked into her property for a rental inspection, she almost gagged from the smell.
Only three months earlier the place had been a tidy, three-bedroom home.
Now the carpet was burnt, there was rubbish everywhere and human faeces all around the outside of the toilet and shower curtain.
Leaving three weeks of unpaid rent and $2000 worth of damages, the tenants abandoned their lease and fled the house earlier this week after being asked to restore the house to cleanliness.
Mrs Beerens knew renters could be messy, but she never imagined it could get this bad.
"There is cat poo in the bath and in the kitchen, there's dirty dishes in the sink, food on the floor, the fridge is absolutely disgusting," she said.
In less than three months, the place had become a complete disaster.
Burns to the carpet occurred when the middle aged tenants' daughter set curtains alight while playing with sparklers inside the house.
"The yard is awful and they have a 900mm high swimming pool full of green water, unfenced," Mrs Beerens said.
But aside from the awful mess, Mrs Beerens said she was sad to see a child brought up in such an environment.
"As an owner, I'm angry. I'm really really angry," Mrs Beerens said.
"It disappoints me that children are dragged up in that sort of squalor. Imagine that child having friends over to play and you've got poo everywhere through the house."
A Leyburn police officer inspected the property, but has taken the matter to higher authorities.
But Mrs Beerens said she couldn't get any compensation under rental insurance because the damage to the house was classes as 'normal wear and tear'.
"They will only pay out on vandalism. People can trash a place with shit and it's not classed as vandalism, that's considered normal wear and tear," she said.
Mrs Beerens will have to clean the house herself, but to make matters worse she will be forced to keep all the rubbish the tenants left behind without throwing it away.
"Legally we have to hold their property for one calendar month before we can throw it out," she said.
"There's kittens in there somewhere too."
Mrs Beerens said neighbours and residents had been complaining about the awful smell of the property since the tenants moved in.
Eager to avoid another disaster, Mrs Beerens is unsure what to do with the house.
She has considered offering it to an elderly renter who is struggling in the rental market.