A devastated landlord finds mountains of rubbish, an unbearable stench, and piles of excrement in a rented apartment from hell.


His landlord was devastated after seeing the condition in which he had left his apartment after the tenants had left. Lee Locking has received the keys to his property after renting it out for the past half decade only to find every room littered with rubbish.

Among the debris were bags on sacks of cans and bottles, old clothes, mountains of rotten food and cat litter in the bathtub. In fact, our photographer said it was the “worst place” he’s lived in during his 20-year career.

Lee claims the tenant told him they could keep the apartment deposit to cover the mess, but the landlord was shocked to see the apartment space. He says he is disappointed with the letting agents who ran the property, and claims that they shouldn’t have allowed the apartment to become as bad as it is.

Now, Lee, 56, faces the daunting task of making property in him Swansea livable, which will include a new bathroom, new kitchen and new carpeting, not to mention getting rid of what he says is three to four tons of leftover trash.

Read more: The faces of drug addicts who were lurking in the stairwell of an apartment building before attacking a student

property from abroad


The task of returning property to its original condition is overwhelming.

Every room is full

Impossible to know where to start

He told me that every time he set foot in the house in Waunarlwydd, it left him feeling filthy. He said, “Every room is a country. I can’t even go in without wanting to take a shower right afterwards.”

“When I first went to the property, I took the dog with me. I opened the door and was shocked by the smell. I took one look at the mess in the stairs and shut the door and put the dog back in the car, because there was no way to let the dog in.

“I have no idea where the person is sleeping. A neighbor said they saw the tenant take a mattress from the house and assumed it had been moved to the edge. After seeing the condition of the property, I’m not sure about that.”

This discovery ruined me

Mold grows on old food

Every room on the property is filled to the brim with some sort of clutter. The kitchen has jars and crates of moldy food, a litter tray piled with feces, and empty milk cartons. In one other room, the floor is not visible, covered with trash bags, takeaway containers, Amazon boxes and clothes.

One of the worst rooms in the house is the bathroom, where the bathtub is covered in old cat excrement. The toilet seat is about to hang on the bowl, while the toilet is filthy surrounded by old plastic bags, used tissues and empty food bags.

The toilet is surrounded by rubbish.

Cat feces in the bathroom.

It will cost thousands to restore the house to its original condition

mountain of tea bags

The oven does not look like it has been cleaned in years.

The kitchen is covered with old milk cartons and tea bags.

When the tenant handed over the keys, Lee claimed he was told he could keep the £400 in order to “take care of the mess”. But Lee thinks the cost of making the place livable again will be much higher. He said, “It would easily cost me a few thousand, I would need to replace all the carpets, the kitchen, the bathroom. I was told there was at least three to four tons of rubbish to clean up. I’m at the breaking point with it.”

Since Lee had no prior rental experience, he decided to commission the property to be managed by letting agents, John Francis. He tells me he is disappointed by the company, and claims they shouldn’t have let the apartment get as bad as it was.

“I understand that people may struggle with their mental health, and continuing to clean can be difficult for them, and I really feel for them, but John Francis has let her get into that state.”

The small staircase is stacked high.

Trash everywhere.

A lonely looking doll sitting on the clutter.

Lee continued, “I feel really upset and angry that I have allowed them to run my property for the past five years and this is the state I have been brought back in. They were supposed to screen the tenants and be the main point of contact for any problems. The apartment was supposed to be no pets allowed. But there was clearly a cat on the property. They took 12% plus VAT for five years and now they’ve left me in limbo.”

A John Francis spokesperson said: “John Francis Lettings takes any customer complaint very seriously. We have received a formal complaint from the owner and are currently investigating it. We will contact the owner directly to resolve these issues.” Get Swansea stories straight to your inbox With our newsletter.

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