Melbourne couple face clean up after Point Cook rental trashed

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Two trusting tenants have been left with a mammoth clean-up after a friend who informally leased the home from them turned the property upside down, littering it with rubbish, food and faeces.

Andrew Robson and his partner Jay were the tenants of the Point Cook home in Melbourne’s southwest, which was owned by a family friend, for several years.

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In 2019, the couple decided to relocate to Queensland, and the owner of the home asked them to find someone else to move in.

At the time, the pair had a friend, a single mother-of-three who was struggling to find a home.

The couple, who thought it was the perfect way to help out a friend in need, offered her the house to move into.

The woman informally took over the lease and did not pay any bond.

“As COVID went through, it wasn’t too bad, nothing was amiss,” Robson told 7NEWS.

“We didn’t have any reason to think that this was happening.”

The couple returned to the home to find their friend had completely destroyed it. Credit: TikTok

Over the course of the three years the friend lived in the property with her children, the pair say they covered her rent several times and loaned her money when she was struggling financially.

However attempts to try and inspect the property were consistently rejected by the single mother, which was made even harder during COVID-19.

“We obviously couldn’t do physical inspections, the owner couldn’t get in and have a look, and anytime that we tried to do Facetime or Zoom walkthroughs it was knocked back,” Robson said.

“Being that she was our friend, we kind of maybe put a bit too much trust in her word there, but we wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.”

At the start of 2022, the owner of the property decided to pull the pin on the lease agreement and gave the friend three months to vacate the property.

The clean-up effort is expected to cost about $10,000. Credit: 7NEWS

The single mother did not leave by the provided exit date, October 10, and instead stayed for another month, not paying any rent.

“(Those months were) an absolute storm,” Robson said.

“Threats coming out, taking us to VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal), the tenants’ union. (She said) we were harassing her, and bullying her, and she was fearing for her safety. At no point were any threats made towards her or her kids.”

Two weeks ago, after receiving news that the mother had finally moved out, Robson and his partner travelled back to Melbourne to inspect the property for themselves.

“It was horrible,” Robson told 7NEWS.

The home and its backyard were covered in rubbish, clothes and food, the walls had been drawn on, and there was even faeces in the pantry.

Robson posted a video of the state he found the house in on TikTok, which has been viewed almost 400,000 times.

“To see (the home) in the state that it was and still is, it was horrible,” he told 7NEWS.

“All of our friends that we have down here, they can’t believe it’s the same house.”

Because the lease agreement was a private one between family and friends, the responsibility falls on the owner of the home.

“Jay and I are (helping clean) because we feel partly responsible for getting her in here,” Robson said.

Both Andrew Robson and his partner Jay have aided in the clean-up, feeling partly responsible for what their friend did to the property. Credit: 7NEWS

The huge clean-up effort has begun, estimated to cost about $10,000.

Throughout this entire process, Robson said he has learnt a very valuable lesson.

“Get everything in writing,” he said.

“Make sure everything is formalised in these situations, (so) that the responsibility can go back to the person.

“Be careful who you trust …. you don’t want to tell people not to trust and not to help but when you’re left (in a) position like this, it’s kind of the lesson.”

The friend is now believed to be living interstate with family.

The couple has set up a GoFundMe to help raise money to cover the clean-up cost. More than $700 has been raised so far.

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