A couple have been left distraught after nightmare tenants left behind a house of horrors with piles of rubbish, faeces and a collapsed ceiling.
Vic and Jane Shoulders, the owners from Swindon, found their future retirement home to be completely destroyed.
General rubbish, mouldy food, takeaways, clothes and faeces littered the bedrooms with photographs showing piles of toys left for the couple to throw out.
The house was invaded by a huge overgrown ivy plant that had clambered its way in, and the bathroom was left in a disgusting state.
A water leak wrecked the kitchen and resulted in a collapsed ceiling, the hood of the hob breaking off and structural issues with the house due to severe damp.
So far, 200 bin bags of rubbish has been cleared up with the help of supportive neighbours in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Vic, 63, said: “Some of the things we’ve found have been unbelievable.
“There was a hoover that had a dead hamster in it, bags of shopping that had been delivered and just been left laying around, all of the carpets were ruined.
“There were takeaway boxes in every room. Upstairs there was a children’s truck with faeces on it.
“I’ve used three bottles of acid on the toilet so far and it’s still not clean.
“I was lost for words, there were no no words, I couldn’t even come in the house, couldn’t even look.
“We’ve filled up 200 bags of rubbish so far. I estimate we’ve probably got another 100 to go.”
The Shoulders had only received one months rent from the tenants since they moved in in January 2020, but they could not be evicted until three months later because of current laws.
However tenants could not be evicted during the pandemic and so, the couple could not ask them to leave.
They were finally evicted in August of this year after legal proceedings began a couple of months earlier.
Vic said: “We had to call a locksmith to get in because she had changed the locks”
“But when we finally got in I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The smell straight away was horrendous and there were flies everywhere.
“I managed to film a quick video but could only stay in there for 20 minutes.”
The Shoulders, along with their family, purchased all sorts of equipment such as shovels, bodysuits, gloves, fly traps, masks and hundreds of bin bags to clean up the house.
They spent two weeks clearing out some of the junk, but there is still lots to be done and the true nature of the damage to the house is yet to be known.
The damage from the leak is likely to be the most expensive job, possibly costing them thousands.
Jane said: “Both of us were shocked.
“We’re reasonable people, we would have fixed anything that was wrong, but to leave the house like this is heart-breaking.
“It was a nice house. Now I just want to get a match and burn the whole thing down.”
“How can someone have lived like this?” she asked.
Vic added: “When you consider that we’re already out of pocket because we’ve not received rent for 18 months and then add the fact that it’ll cost thousands to fix this place, it’s devastating to us.”
The couple are touched by the acts of kindness they have received from their community, including Andy Angell from Connect Flooring Swindon offering to replace the carpets for the family.
Jane said: “We’re very grateful to Andy for his offer, and if anyone else is willing to help we’d appreciate it.”
Their niece Molly has opened a GoFundMe page to raise £500 towards the cost of the huge clean-up operation which as already cost them hundreds of pounds and many hours of tireless cleaning.
Jane said: “The support is appreciated so much. I really can’t thank people enough. It’s nice to know that there is nice people out there.”