METH IN THE AC: Rental property declared toxic, 'unlivable'
A WIFE and husband have been left absolutely gutted after their investment property in Bundaberg was trashed by drug-addicted tenants and their three dogs.
Rebecca Keogh, 42, and husband Joshua Keogh, 35, spent the past six years living in Brisbane, far from the family and close friends they'd left behind in 2012.
But that was all set to change this year, when Mrs Keogh packed up their life, quit her job and ordered a removalist to take the pair's belongings back up to the Rum City.
"We were supposed to move back here and start a new life,” Mrs Keogh said.
"We just wanted to be near family.”
But what met the pair when they arrived in Bundaberg was far from a sweet welcome home.
"We packed up our life and came to Bundaberg not knowing the extent of the damage,” Mrs Keogh said.
"I asked mum to go there and Facetime me so I could see what the place looked like and it was then that I discovered it was unlivable.
"Mum couldn't even stand being near the house, it smells so bad.”
Through professional quotes, drug testing and their own calculations, the Keoghs believe their property has suffered more than $80,000 worth of damage, the most shocking of which can be confined to the disturbing amount of methamphetamine contaminating almost every facet of the home's interior.
"It's just been tested for meth, which is a $6000 test we had to pay for, and it's come back positive in every single room,” Mrs Keogh said.
"The air conditioners are all full of meth, and then everything from the walls, the cupboards, the kitchen, it all needs to be replaced because of the meth.
"It's actually been deemed toxic. It's been advised no one is allowed to go inside because of the toxic environment.”
She told the NewsMail the only way forward would be to get the whole property gutted, estimating just a new kitchen, pool and cupboards alone would cost close to $25000.
"It's absolutely astounding how much money we've lost and will still lose,” Mrs Keogh said.
"Not to mention the loss of rent from this place now and the some nine weeks of rent from our other house, in Brisbane, where our stuff is now sitting as it can't be brought to this house here.
"Every door in the house has been damaged in some way, the locks too, and the screens have been removed or fallen off.
"They even damaged the pool, they put 44 holes in the pool.”
Mr and Mrs Keogh used to be foster parents in Brisbane but had been going through a challenging time when they made the decision to move back to Bundaberg.
"We decided we would use the opportunity to come back to our property in Bundaberg to ground ourselves again,” Mrs Keogh said.
"We gave them (the tenants) notice on July 25, they'd been staying there since January 2017.
"When they left they left whatever they didn't want in a pile out the front for us to clean up.”
The tenants were asked to leave after the Keoghs' real estate agent discovered the devastation at the rental property.
"She said there was a funny smell coming from the house ... I had a gut feeling ... turns out that was the animal faeces in every room, the pee in the carpets,” Mrs Keogh said.
"It wasn't just one little accidents. It was extensive. And the fridge was full with old food with the power off.
"They left old mattresses, cans of soft drink, just crap basically. There was paperwork in the oven and you can't even see through the glass over door.
"They dug a pond in the garden, they left the backdoor and window open which let all the flies in and all the rubbish on the floor is now a breeding ground for maggots.
"It'll need a forensic cleaner, which'll cost a few thousand ... they''ll have to put on breathing equipment when cleaning."It's disgusting, it's festering and the poor neighbours have to smell it. I'm surprised they haven't complained yet, they've been quite understanding.”
Since the shocking discovery, Mrs Keogh has been living in a caravan outside her mum's property.
But despite being in constant contact with her insurance company, things have yet to progress on the repairs-front.
"I would've never come here had I known the damage was that bad,” Mrs Keogh said.
"It's been a nightmare. I've been homeless basically the last nine weeks."I've contacted the RTA about the tenants and they said I have to go to the tribunal, but you just can't get blood out the stone. It'll cost us money to go to court. Money we don't have right now, because no way is insurance going to cover all the damage.”
Mrs Keogh said the most upsetting part of the damage was how her memories of the house had been tainted.
"I have some beautiful memories from that home. I don't think I can put it into words... Let's just say I've not emotionally coped with it very well,” she said.
"We were going to keep this house for our retirement, that was the plan, but now, because of the memories and the way we've seen it, we can't even fathom living there again.
"It'll never be home again.”