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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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'Tenant from hell' leaves Carlisle landlord with huge clean-up bill

A Carlisle landlord is warning people about the perils of renting out houses after a tenant left him with a bill of nearly £3,000 in lost rent and cleaning costs.

Rockcliffe dirty house photo
Landlord Steve Wilkinson surveys some of the damage in the kitchen

Steve Wilkinson has now been forced to hire professional cleaners to fumigate the property in Rockcliffe after the woman he rented it to left it in a disgusting and uninhabitable state.

Mr Wilkinson, 35, said: “I agreed to rent the house to a woman and said she could have two dogs but I think she had a lot more. In fact I think she was breeding them.

“After she moved in people began telling me about her rent arrears at previous properties and then the milkman advised me to have a look in the house as he said a strange smell was coming from the front door.

“I tried to get in but she had changed the locks. I could hear lots of dogs barking.

“She had at least two German Shepherd dogs but I had agreed that she could have two dogs when she moved in.”

The woman, who is in her late 30s or early 40s and has brown collar length hair, left the property and Mr Wilkinson was forced to break into it because he didn’t have a key and the locks had been changed.

He said: “When I got inside I had never seen anything like it. It was a state and there was a terrible smell.

“The sofas had all been chewed and the woodwork. There was dog dirt smeared up the walls and the carpets were all stinking in the hall, landing and on the stairs.

“There was dog dirt trodden into the carpets. It is so filthy I am going to have to get a professional cleaner in to fix it.”

Mr Wilkinson, who works as a landscape gardener thinks it will cost about £1,500 to clean the house, in Blencarn Park, and replace the carpets.

He said: “She also owes us about two months’ rent.

“I just want to warn people about her. She is very canny regarding the law and her rights. I’ve lost out financially but it could be more.”

Another landlord, Stuart Bruce-Gormley, rented out one of his houses to the woman in High Hesket.

He said: “She did exactly the same as she did to Steve’s house except it was worse. It cost me £6,000 in lost rent and clean-up costs.

“She paid the rent for the first two months and then changed the locks so I couldn’t get in. She had five dogs locked in the garage and seven in the house and she was breeding them.

“The mess was unbelievable. The house was destroyed and there was dog dirt, chewed furniture and mess everywhere.

“She had references when she moved in which had obviously been falsified.

“She’s very canny. I took her to court but she didn’t turn up.

“She bills herself as a dog psychologist which is just a joke. She is a serial criminal and she needs stopping. I think there should be some sort of a database where landlords can read the truth about their tenants’ past so this doesn’t happen again.”

Anyone who suspects they may be renting a house to the woman can contact Mr Wilkinson for more information on 07711 828897.

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