House of horrors - COMMENT ON THIS STORY

editorial image

PILES of stinking garbage spill out of bin liners, faeces is smeared across walls and festering tins of cat food litter the floor.

Walking around number 22 Olinda Road you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d entered a depraved squat.

Tennant from Hell leaves 22 Olinda Road in a disgrace'PA1167-5f'Kids Bed Room

Tennant from Hell leaves 22 Olinda Road in a disgrace'PA1167-5f'Kids Bed Room

But this is no slum, this is a house on a quiet Bridlington street that a mother has been living in with her two children for over two years.

The shocking scenes awaited landlord Gary McNicholas on Monday when he was called by police who had been contacted by neighbours when they noticed all the property’s doors and windows were open and a vile smell was coming from the house.

Mr McNicholas says his problem tenant owed almost £4,000 in rent when she fled the property with her two daughters at the end of last week.

He and his partner Sara Tanner were not legally allowed to enter the house without their tenants’ permission, so had no idea of the horrors that lay behind the front door.

Mr McNicholas said: “You have to see it to believe it, it’s a real eye-opener.

“I have been a landlord for 16 years and own eight properties and in all this time I have never come across anything as shocking as this.

“There just aren’t the words to describe it.”

Every room in the three-bedroom, three-storey house is teeming with rubbish built up over many months.

Animal faeces litters the carpet and the toilet and bathroom walls are daubed in excrement.

All but one of the doors in the house have been ripped off their hinges, and the one remaining door has been badly damaged – while a gaping hole has opened up in the ceiling of the upstairs bedroom.

In recent months, neighbours had complained about the number of cats roaming around the house and the smell coming from it.

Denise Aitken who lives next door said: “At one point there must have been about 17 cats and kittens in there, and a couple of dogs.

“I saw the woman leaving with her two children last week and they came out with about eight kittens.

“They seemed to just breed and breed them, the girls had been outside before asking if anybody wanted one.”

Ms Aitken was the first to enter the house last Friday when she realised that a cat was still trapped inside after the tenant had fled.

“I was surprised when I tried the door, it just opened, and I couldn’t believe what I saw in there,” said Ms Aitken.

“When the kids on the street realised the house was empty, they were running in and out of it and I was telling them ‘don’t go in there, you’ll get a stomach bug, you’ll get poorly’.

“I don’t know how you could let children live like that, it’s disgusting.”

Her views are echoed by Mr McNicholas and Ms Tanner, who had spent £10,000 on doing up the house before letting it out to the woman.

Ms Tanner said: “It was me that let her in there as our tenant, I hold my hands up to that, but you could never expect that something like this would happen, she seemed like a normal woman.

“What she’s done to the house is just unbelievable, she’s completely wrecked the place, it’s criminal damage.

“You hear so many negative things about landlords, but this is the other side of things, this is the underbelly that people don’t see.”

Mr McNicholas added: “This isn’t just a clean-up job we’re looking at, the whole place needs gutting and we’re going to have to start from scratch again.”

He estimated that the cost would be in the region of £10,000 – the same amount that he had spent on the property, including fitting a new kitchen and bathroom, before the tenant moved in.

Humberside Police are investigating and the woman has been reported to social services.