A tenant who's complained to news media about abandoned or unsafe homes in his South Bend, Ind., neighborhood has contributed to the problem himself by trashing the house he rented to the point where it's no longer inhabitable, says his former landlady. "Allen told me he would make sure the house was not rentable anymore," Alicia Ortiz said, quoting former tenant Allen Townsend to South Bend TV station WNDU
. She claimed that Townsend used a 10-day eviction period to do $25,000 in damage to the home.
"He made true on his promise," Ortiz says in the video below. "It is no longer rentable." The basement was flooded, air-duct grates were removed, appliances were missing, and a stairwell was filled and blocked with trash, the TV station reported, adding that several of the items among the trash had Townsend's name on them -- even though he told its reporter that he had not left any behind.
Ortiz said that although the home previously needed some upgrading, it had new carpet and was freshly painted when the tenant moved in. After Townsend fell behind in his rent by $900 and refused to pay, she obtained an emergency eviction to get him out.
The tenant had been quoted in WNDU news stories earlier this year about other homes in the neighborhood, urging the demolition of a house with a collapsed roof
and calling the city's code officials about a home's foundation caving in
. Now the home that Townsend once rented will be added to the demolition list, "because there is way too much damage," said Ortiz.
It's certainly nothing new for some tenants to trash a rental as they near eviction. In July, AOL Real Estate carried the story of some "accidental landlords"
in Minnesota who reportedly struggled for months to evict some non-paying tenants. Their tenants then purportedly left behind 66 bags filled with garbage as well as holes in walls, stained carpets and water damage.
And, of course, such problems aren't limited to renters in America. Recently some tenants with five children and 14 dogs made the news in Great Britain after reportedly leaving a home in such deplorable condition -- littered with dog feces and dirty diapers -- that the Daily Mail
said the stench of the place induced vomiting. In Australia, meanwhile, The Examiner
newspaper carried a story about tenants who threw a two-day party, advertised on social media and attended by hundreds, that left $15,000 in damage. The landlord reportedly was forced to watch helplessly from his parked car across the street, though -- prevented by tenancy law there from entering the property himself.
See more about tenants and landlords:
County Housing Code Pushing College Students Out of Shared Home
Students' Mysterious Housemate -- A Lesson for Tenants
Tenants' Rights When Landlord Breaks Rental Agreement
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