A landlord couple face a huge bill after a rogue tenant family left behind a trail of destruction, 18 months after moving in.

Sixty-something landlords Vic and Jane Shoulders had hoped to eventually move into the property in the Toothill suburb of Swindon and use it as their retirement home but the damage to the property is so great that their plans are now on hold.

They also told local media that the tenant family had only paid their first months’ rent before falling into arrears and that it took until mid-August to evict them due to the bailiff ban and other measures introduced during the pandemic.

As LandlordZONE made clear last week, many landlords with experiences similar to the Shoulders feel that while penalties are severe for rogue landlords, criminal tenants like this can hop from property to property wreaking havoc with few legal or financial repercussions.

Once their tenants were evicted, the Shoulders were horrified to find that ivy was growing inside a bathroom, a leak had been left to rot the entire kitchen ceiling, toys were found in a bedroom with faeces inside them and unopened bags of shopping were left strewn across the property.

Takeaway boxes were in every room and so far the Shoulders have removed 200 bags of rubbish, with another 100 expected.

The property will now have to be gutted and renovated which, along with the 18 months’ lost rent, will mean a bill running into ‘thousands’, the couple claim.

“It was a nice house. Now I just want to get a match and burn the whole thing down,” Jane told the Swindon Advertiser. “How can someone have lived like this?”.

Pic credit: Vic and Jane Shoulders.


  1. I’m a private landlord and have two more examples like this. I was stupid enough wanting to give a young family / a single mum of two toddlers a lovely home. NEVER AGAIN! The single mum left her babies unattended to go clubbing and let her home slip into a disgusting state. She then vandalised my property deliberately when I asked her to put a payment plan together so she can manage her future rent payments which she received in housing benefit at the time (never mind the thousands of arrears…) A few years later, I gave it another chance and entrusted my property to a young couple with a toddler who were absolutely desperate to find a home of their own. But hey, they trashed my property and turned it literally into a tip including the daily food and food packing left to to rot on the floor and elsewhere. The trash mounted to two rooms full, to up to the ceiling! In both cases, I’m short of tens of thousands in rent and I spent tens of thousands twice to get my property into a re-let state. Thanks to section 21, I could get them out. Burnt twice, I sold the property and can sleep again. God knows how I get my pension secured though….
    While I’m absolutely not for black-listing anyone, neither landlord nor tenant, I think there should be equally balanced regulations for both. If it’s treated a criminal offence when a landlord doesn’t comply to something, so it should be a criminal offence when a tenant doesn’t. I find it astonishing that landlords can be prosecuted, but tenants can do as they please! Anywhere else in our civilised and regulated society, it’s a criminal offence if someone doesn’t pay for a product or service, or if someone damages another property, a car for example. But not paying rent is okay, and damaging housing property is okay too! It’s highest time, something gets done about this!!! Black-listing won’t help much and creates unnecessary friction.

  2. Couldn’t agree more! I’ve had similar disgusting, horrible nightmare scenes
    And one tenant walked away with the double glazing! Not to mention maggots in the kitchen- thousands upon thousands to refurbish – finally an enormous amount of money down the drain (unpaid rent, refurb etc)
    Also sold up.

  3. Fully agree , name and Shame , simply mutual respect – and equal obligations lie with both tenant and landlord .
    Somehow seems inequality in law that one party can be in breach of the contract , and gave no consequences , whilst the burden all lies with the other being the landlord .
    Surely in contractual law wouldn’t this perhaps be a predjucial contract against one of the parties ?
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to pay the mortgage .
    Then buy another property and also not pay that mortgage ? And so on , without any consequences ?
    Of course landlords I forgot are rich !
    We’ve had to write off 40k in rental arrears thanks to the pandemic , and every other excuse , recover our properties and start again , few years wiped out of our planned pension, back to work , and nett result impact on children’s inheritances and help we planned for them .
    As mentioned sheets shelter when tenants owe 40k ? , or what happened with the subsidies and grants and all the donations ?
    Not sure where the tenants we had are now ! Should I care , I think I should as no doubt doing the same to the next landlord no doubt ?
    Rogue register , why not , great idea , if you end up without being able to live anywhere , then only oneself to blame . We all have to make choices and must therefore carry the consequences .
    Very sorry to hear hone trashed , luckily out remedial work was minimal , but subsidizing 2 houses for one year , plus fixing unpaid bills do new tenants had a clean start been a tough ride .

    Can there not be formed a voluntary association for rogue tenants ?

  4. Yes being a PRS landlord has effectively been criminalised with regulations so onerous it is almost impossible to fully comply with. Tenants, on the other hand, can do exactly as they please with impunity. Legalised criminal damage and non-payment – this in a country that tries to tell the rest of the world they have the best legal and parliamentary system, a beacon to the world!

    Secondly PRS landlords are being relentlessly persecuted for carrying out a legal, legitimate (and very necessary) business. Surely there must be recourse to the law regarding this state persecution? Or is there no recourse? There is if it is regarding race, gender, sexuality etc, so homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny et al is jumped all over with hob-nailed boots – but landlord-o-phobia is state backed. You couldn’t make it up..

  5. Oh and yes there absolutely should be a rogue tenant register – that might just make them think there is a serious consequence to abusing landlords and their property, that they will find it very difficult to find accommodation in a decent landlord’s property again, so it will be a slum or the streets – perfect justice for scum tenants.

  6. LL you are all idiots and I include myself!!

    There is simply NO way Govt will ever allow a register which would enable LL to identify feckless rent defaulting tenants who cost LL about £9 billion per year mostly in defaulted rent.

    LRS tried but is now out of business.

    The facts are that being a LL is a very; very risky business.

    All the points made by previous posters are completely correct.

    However Govt DOESN’T care.
    It wants small LL out of business to be replaced by faceless corporate LL who of course will contribute generously to Tory Party funds.

    Mug LL who stay in the game arr just asking to be ripped off which is why I’m getting out of the game as soon as possible.

    Life is scheduled to become even more difficult for LL………….if that was possible!!!!!??

    Make no mistakes only mug LL will remain in the game.

    They will tend to have deep pockets and be able to take on the better tenants.

    Until LL are able to repossess in 45 days with NO court action required for rent defaulting tenants the PRS is a dud investment.

    SA and FHL is a far better option!!


  8. These are very worrying situations that the LL have been left in, costing thousands to correct and not to mention the worry that goes with it. I am seriously thinking of selling up if it gets worse.

  9. I just had a similar situation with a rouge tenant called XYAIRE HOWARD! He moved into my property and 2 months later defrauded the other tenants over £1000, broke into their rooms stole furniture worth over £500 and left the property owing £900.
    So I totally agree that there should be a rogue tenant register. That would potentially help another Landlord from falling for tenants like XYAIRE HOWARD.


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