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Landlord’s horror at state of house

By Fiona Reid
Landlord's horror at state of house

A LANDLORD is selling his rental properties after being stunned at the disgusting state left by a tenant in Moffat.

Michael Tough has owned a one bedroom house in Causeway Street for seven years and previously rented it to a friend without any issues arising.

But he now faces a lot of work to make it habitable again after his most recent tenant moved out, leaving a trail of dirt and destruction behind her.

Mr Tough, who founded Lowland Brewery based in Lockerbie, had been renting ‘Holmlea’ to a woman he knew, who lived there with her dog.

However, earlier this year he became aware of flies circulating in the window, so asked for access to ensure it was in good order and to help if anything needed sorting out.

Repeated appointments were set up at the house, only to be cancelled at the last minute.

Mr Tough said: “I was never able to gain access to Holmlea.

“With under six months on the tenancy and very concerned for the state of the house, I gave the tenant one month’s notice, sent by recorded delivery to leave at the end of August.

“Come the end of August the tenant denied receiving the notice and continued to be evasive regarding leaving: setting up dates and giving me quite the run around. I continued with polite, persistent requests.”

Six weeks later, after ascertaining there was no noise from the dog within, he finally gained entry to the address – only to be shocked at what lay within.

“When I first saw the property I felt totally violated,” said Mr Tough.

“The house was empty of animals and humans but totally full of rubbish and downstairs was covered deep in dog faeces, including the kitchen. Upstairs in the bathroom the sink and bath were full of faeces, possibly from cats. There was also broken glass everywhere.”

DIRTY . . . the mess that greeted Michael Tough

He has since been in almost daily to bag up the dog excrement and other rubbish, describing the situation as “very difficult and also time consuming”.

And he estimates it will cost about £3000 in total to put right, adding:

“It will probably in the region of £3000 or so to pay for emptying and repainting and recarpeting. This is not including my time when I have more than enough other stuff to be doing.”

The nightmare has brought an end to his time as landlord and he plans to make the property good again and then sell it on.

He said: “This happening and another property in Crocketford, which also had issues with tenants, has put me off being a landlord.

“I do not think there is enough protection for landlords and so much recent legislation is in favour of the tenants and is documented as pushing private landlords out of the sector.”

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