LISA and Graham Greer are living every landlord's worst nightmare, reoccupying a home that has been trashed by bad tenants during the toughest period of their lives.
Graham has been diagnosed with malignant renal cancer, and after having a kidney removed, he and Lisa are in the process of selling their business in Mullumbimby to move back into their Shephards Ln home, which they have rented out for five years.
To their disgust, the home they have returned to isn't the home they left, and to make matters worse, no bond was ever paid, no real estate agency had the property management and now the couple are facing a $10,000 repair bill.
"Our house has been totally trashed, and I would hate to see this happen to someone else," Mrs Greer said.
"We leased our house out to a reputable family - two brothers aged in their 40s - fully furnished.
"They always paid their rent on time and we considered them to be good tenants.
"We trusted them because we knew their family, so for us it's the ultimate breach of trust to leave the house looking like this.
"We agreed that the rent would be $400 a week, which the brothers would split, but we have since found out they have been sub-letting rooms to other people and holding parties that lasted for days.
"They have been keeping cats inside on the carpet of one room and there is a toxic mould and mildew bloom throughout the house, and not one spot of cleaning has been done in five years."
The tenants have since been evicted and the clean-up is under way.
"We have filled a dumpster with 12 tonnes of rubbish," Mrs Greer said.
"The tenants have promised they would come back to help clean-up, but we haven't seen them since."
The Greers say they are contemplating taking the matter to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.
NSW Fair Trading has launched a free tenancy complaint service to assist with tenancy-related matters or disputes.
The complaint service allows you to speak with experienced staff who can walk you though the issues and contact the other party on your behalf to help negotiate an agreement.
The tenancy complaint service is available to landlords and tenants, assisting with complaints about repairs, maintenance, alterations to premises, inspections, non-compliance with tenancy agreements, breaking of a lease, rental increases and rental arrears of less than 14 days.
See the Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.