Cleaners reveal terrifying trend in rental properties during housing crisis

As the cost-of-living crisis intensifies, homes are being left completely trashed and covered in clothes, rubbish, mouldy food, and broken furniture.

A Sydney-based cleaner has revealed the terrifying reality of how some tenants leave properties at the end of their lease — and it's a growing problem as Australia's housing crisis worsens.

In a recent end-of-lease video shared on TikTok, Care Cleaning Services which works with Aussie Industries Skips showed a home completely trashed and covered in mounds of clothes, rubbish, mouldy food, and broken furniture.

The amount of waste abandoned by the previous tenants, who were the first to live in this new home, was so extreme two skips were required to clear the place out, Mitch from Aussie Industries Skips told Yahoo News Australia — but it's "not the worst we have seen", he added.

End of lease clean shows a trashed rental property.
Images from inside a trashed rental property before being cleared. Source: TikTok

Mitch, who works with cleaning companies and real estate agencies by assisting in removing waste, says "some [waste] is just furniture, others have rotting food waste, clothes and animal faeces," he explained.

"In any given week, we have 10-15 customers in a situation with excess waste from previous tenants," he said. This number has significantly grown in 2023, "particularly from July onwards… in line with interest rate hikes and the cost-of-living crisis"

Others in the comments shared their own experiences. "I ran a bond cleaning business years ago and someone left a rotten chicken in the oven," commented one TikTok user. While another said, "I’ve cleaned student rentals before…. This is way too common."

What does it cost landlords?

Care Cleaning Service charged just over $4000 for the full clean, including using the skips from Aussie Industries Skips, meaning landlords are usually out of pocket despite likely retaining the rental bond.

For the waste removal alone and not including the full clean, Mitch told Yahoo it depends on the size of skip and amount of waste, but can cost anywhere from $500 to $3000.

These costs don’t include extra repair fees for things broken and, though the cost is meant to be covered by the previous tenants, it's sometimes left for the landlords to pay for themselves if a place is abandoned or there are other complications.

Is it happening in other states too?

A Melbourne-based cleaner has noticed the problem increasing too. "We started our business 3-4 years ago and we used to get one a month. Now, since mid-last year, we are getting one or more a week," Stacey from Luxedo Services Pty Ltd told Yahoo.

Just like in Sydney, Stacey believes the cost-of-living crisis has led to this rise. "There are a lot of factors [why]. Whether people are fleeing due to mental health, domestic violence, or drug-related issues, a lot of it comes down to the cost of living." she explains.

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