When Zach Nenson decided to lease out his Regina home while travelling, the worst thing the 24-year-old imagined happening is some partying, maybe even a hole or two in a wall.
Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine cutting his six-month trip short to come home to $40,000 worth of damage and all of his furniture being stolen or smashed.
Nenson was in Bolivia last week when his mom ran into trouble with the pair of renters. He had agreed the two young women could lease his place for one year, starting in January.
According to Nenson, the tenants — whom he found through an online listing and said had seemed nice — didn’t pay the rent on May 1. They had not responded to his mother’s text messages, nor did they reply when his mom gave them a 48-hour notice.
She was shocked at what she found when she went over to the house.
Every room is a mess
“I was speechless to be honest. I was just devastated,” Nenson said when he got the news from his mom that his home had been destroyed.
Every wall and floor in his four-bedroom, three-bathroom house had been trashed.
“There was writing on every wall in the house. It looked like people took a can of paint and just threw it on the carpets,” he said. “They poured a big puddle of paint and then walked through it and walked all over the house, put their shoes on the walls.”
There was also food scattered across the floors and all the furniture had been either broken or stolen, including a washer and dryer that are missing.
“I was completely shocked and surprised that people could do this to someone else,” said Nenson.
After getting off the phone with his mom, Nenson immediately booked a flight home from South America.
Luckily, he said family members had started cleaning by the time he arrived last week and saw the damage firsthand.
“It was definitely emotional for me,” he said.
“It’s not liveable right now.”
$40k in damages
He estimates that including labour, repairs will cost around $40,000.
“$40,000 worth of damage, I don’t have that money sitting around,” said Nenson, who plans to do most of the renovating himself or with family.
Since coming home, Nenson said he’s been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he’s received.
A GoFundMe page has seen set up and as of Monday afternoon, it had raised $6,145 out of a $15,000 goal. A steak night fundraiser has also been planned for the beginning of June.
“It’s been great the amount of love and compassion I felt from my family and friends,” he said.
He said his mom filed a police report and on Tuesday, he plans to meet with officers about the case.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Regina police wouldn’t comment on the case.
However, spokesperson Les Parker said that disputes between tenants and landlords are typically dealt with as civil matters.
Advice to future landlords?
Right now, Nenson is sleeping at his mom’s place and hopes to make at least one room livable as soon as possible.
He plans to sell the house once the damage has been repaired, ditching his initial plans to rent it for the rest of the year while he moves to B.C.
“I think I’m out of the rental game,” he said.
When Nenson asked his two tenants for references, they told him they didn’t have any besides their parents so he didn’t pursue a reference check.
Nenson’s advice to new landlords was to do thorough background checks on potential tenants, from criminal record checks to job history.