Published: 00:01, 23 March 2017
This is the mess that confronted landlady Wendy Gilbert when she went to reclaim her house.
She had a phone call from her letting agent Iain Maxstead after he heard the three-bed home in Invicta Road, Sheerness, had become vacant.
Grandmother Mrs Gilbert went with her husband Ian to check and was not prepared for what she found.
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She said: “We saw the front door was broken first of all.
"But when we opened it to have a look inside, I can only describe my feelings as total amazement and horror.
"I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
The banister had been ripped off the stairs and dumped in the middle of the living room, there was broken glass on the floor, doors had been kicked off, the bathroom sink had been smashed, toys and rubbish was strewn everywhere and ketchup had been squirted on walls.
It was discovered last Saturday.
Mrs Gilbert, who has two properties on the Island and one in Sittingbourne, said: “It’s just shocking. It’s definitely been maliciously damaged.”
Police are investigating two lines of enquiry – one that the previous tenants were the victims of a burglary and another of criminal damage.
Mrs Gilbert, who lives in Sittingbourne, thinks it will cost about £10,000 to do the repairs.
She said: “I’ll need to put in a new bathroom and kitchen, I’ll also have to have skips and cleaners in and redecorate throughout.
"That’s without replacing all the doors, the sink and almost every socket that has been smashed to pieces.
"I’m not going to be able to let it out to new tenants for at least three months now.”
Mrs Gilbert, company director of NCI Services on Sittingbourne’s Eurolink, said the most disheartening thing of all was the property had been done up only two years ago.
She said: “We’d put brand new carpets in, completely redecorated it, the kitchen had been re-tiled, we’d put new doors, windows and fencing in. It was spotlessly clean.”
Mrs Gilbert is in the middle of converting her own home to be disabled-friendly for her mother, who recently had a stroke.
She said: “Not that there would ever be a good time for this to happen, but right now is really not a good time for me.
“This whole situation is just not fair. I’ve worked really hard for what I’ve got and this is how I am repaid. It does put you off.
“Not all landlords are bad. We always seem to get bad press, but the government doesn’t do anything to protect landlords in any way.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting crime XY/011569/17 for the criminal damage or XY/009733/17 for the burglary.
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