HORROR RENTERS: Home abandoned covered in blood and faeces
PENNY Jakab began to sob uncontrollably when she looked at the text messages from her husband.
She had an inkling the tenants of their Tara property were going to cause them trouble after they stopped paying rent three weeks into their lease period.
But the mother of four didn't expect to find their family home of five years gutted and abandoned, leaving them with thousands of dollars of damage.
"When I saw the photos Sam had taken I was inconsolable, then I was fuming and now I just want to put this whole nightmare in the past."
The Jakabs first relocated to Tara from Brisbane back in 2010 to give their children a healthier lifestyle and soon purchased a home to call their own.
In 2015 the family moved onto Hervey Bay in search of more work opportunities and decided to privately rent out their home in the hopes of finding the right buyers to take on the property through a rent-to-buy settlement overseen and drawn up by solicitors.
They thought they'd done the right thing, checking references and calling employees in a bid to find suitable tenants to take good care of their pride and joy.
Instead the family returned to find the property destroyed and caked in filth.
"I've cleaned a lot of abandoned rentals in my time as a business owner in Brisbane - but this was just repulsive," Mrs Jakob said.
"There was blood on the walls, dog poo smeared into the floor, the carpet and wooden panelling has been taken, the septic system was pulled apart leaving human faeces everywhere and a majority of the furniture we provided is now destroyed.
"And that's just the start of it - we're going to have to spend thousands getting the house back in order, to get a Brisbane electrician out here cost us $400 alone because no one on the Western Downs will come here out of fear of not getting paid for their time."
The couple are determined to warn fellow property owners after their horrific experience renting to a young couple they thought they could trust.
"We wanted to give these tenants a chance, we even dropped the rent at one stage after they allegedly lost their jobs to cut them some slack and now our kindness has blown up in our faces," Mrs Jakab said.
The 46-year-old said she doesn't believe leasing through an agent would have solved anything.
"Owners get screwed either way when it comes to rental laws, not enough is done to protect us.
"Our biggest regret is not checking the TICA database to see if our tenants had been blacklisted in the past, we've had to learn that lesson the hard way but we hope other owners can learn from our mistake."
The Jakabs are still deliberating whether or not to take the tenants to court in a bit to try and recover some of the financial burden the damages have set them back.
Mrs Jakab admitted the hardest part is knowing the couple at fault have managed to lease another Tara property through a local agency and will most likely cause the same heartache to another unsuspecting owner.
"It's hard for us to fathom how a real estate agency have approved for these low lives to enter another person's home here in Tara after what they've done to ours," she said.
"After I received Sam's text messages showing me the damages I called every real estate agent in the region warning them not to approve this couple and look what happens, they waltz into another house no problems.
"We aren't wealthy people, we worked hard for a very long time to save up and buy this property so we could have something behind us and then someone goes and trashed the place leaving us to clean up the mess.
"To say we are disappointed would be an understatement.
"We are devastated and know they are more than likely going to do this to someone else's property makes it all the worse."