Landlord discovers burnt house had been trashed

A PROPERTY investor whose house was subject to arson at the weekend has described the inside of the house as sickening but not because of the fire.

Rick Weston said he was upset to find out the rental house on McMannie St, South Bundaberg, had been set alight on Sunday morning but when he entered the house yesterday his heart dropped at the sight.

It was not only the filth which had Mr Weston upset, but the nostril burning smell left behind from what was described as the tenants from hell had him wishing he had never given two young Bundaberg people a chance.

"About a year ago I leased this out to a young couple, 17 and 18 - I checked all the references and it seemed fine, well for the first six months it was," he said.

Mr Weston became suspicious and noticed they had a number of rental breeches included the amount of animals at the residence.

"The tenants got behind in the rent and when I went to see them about it I noticed the putrid smell and they wouldn't let anybody in."

"I issued them with a number of breeches and notices and they refused to leave," he said.

"We were due to go to court yesterday (Tuesday); this is when they were issued with an eviction notice.

"Now I've come in today and the putrid smell of cat and human faeces so the fire is the least of my problems."

HOUSE FIRE: Tarrick Weston is upset about the house fire at his McMannie Street rental property. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
HOUSE FIRE: Tarrick Weston is upset about the house fire at his McMannie Street rental property. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Mr Weston said his wife had also visited the property but left in tears after seeing what the tenants had done.

"I now believe the tenants will go to welfare because they are hard done by - but look how they have left this place," he said.

"How a young family especially - one who is pregnant - live like this is unthinkable."

Mr Weston's uncle Anthony Christensen said he went along to help his nephew out but was shocked to see the condition.

"I couldn't believe it. The smell of the urine is overpowering and I am left speechless," Mr Christensen said.

"The cats have just gone to the toilet everywhere and apparently the people were just living in it.

"Rick has to pay for this - I really don't know how people can live in this sort of squalor."

Mr Weston said after the fire the couple remained at the house despite being asked to leave because it was unsafe to live in.

"Ergon cut off the power after the fire," Mr Weston said.

"When I arrived this morning there was a power lead running from the neighbour's house.

"I don't understand how people can live like this - they were asked to leave for health reasons and the fact they could fall through the floor and yet they still remained."

Mr Weston said if the occupants left when they were first issued with the notice to leave the fire may not have taken place.

"Three weeks ago they were served a notice to leave but we had to wait for it to go before the court," he said.

Bundaberg Police confirmed a 28-year-old Bundaberg South man was arrested and charged with one count each of arson, wilful damage, possessing dangerous drugs and possess utensils on February 14.

The man has appeared in Bundaberg Magistrates Court and was remanded in custody to reappear on March 31.

Topics:  bundaberg editors picks house fire tenants from hell

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