A Perth couple rented out their property with no idea it would be left virtually uninhabitable.
Solomon Rolfe and Jody Williamson recently renovated their Mt Nasura house and were looking for tenants. One of the applicants was a single mother named Melissa and her six children.
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Daughter Jasmine Hrodwulf said her compassionate mother and stepfather "decided to give her a chance" and accept her application despite their wariness about the large number of young kids.
"My parents' house was in perfect condition before Melissa moved in with her children," she said on Facebook. The couple had poured thousands into their house, putting in new carpet, a new oven and new curtains.
Two days after the family moved in, Hrodwulf drove past the property to see some of the children playing on top of the roof.
"They were the first red flags," she said - but not the last.
Melissa failed her rent inspections and was told to move out on March 21, which Hrodwulf said she refused to do. Rolfe and Williamson were then granted vacant possession, giving them exclusive use of the property.
After failing to show up for her court appearance, Melissa was given until April 17 to move out, but kept putting it off until her son finally handed over the keys on Monday (local time).
When Rolfe and Williamson walked back into their "once beautiful family home", they were appalled. Video taken by Hrodwulf shows the floors littered with rubbish and the ceilings crawling with cockroaches. The walls were covered in children's drawings and even human faeces, which looked like it had been finger-painted on.
"I can't even explain the stench it had when we walked in," Hrodwulf said. "My mum walked around her house bawling her eyes out."
She said Melissa still owed AUD$950 (NZ$1010) in rent and electricity payments. She told Yahoo News several household items needed to be replaced including taps, the shower head and a door that had been kicked in.
In a message directed at the former tenants, Hrosdwulf wrote on Facebook that there was "no excuse" for the state in which they'd left the house.
"You have destroyed our home, and not only that you have put my parents in debt. They're now struggling to get by because of all the damage you have done and all the money you owe.
"This is why there's no nice people left in the world, because they do nice things only to get stomped on by horrible people like you."