A HORRIFIED landlord discovered a humongous BOA CONSTRICTOR among mounds of rubbish left behind by a “nightmare” tenant.
Phil Tewkesly found FOUR snakes – two of which were dead – as well as dead fish, bugs, scorpions and a TARANTULA.
Phil claims the tenants, a couple and their teenage daughter, used the Covid-19 pandemic as an “excuse” to refuse him access to inspect the property for the last two years.
And when he did finally get inside the home in Kendal, Cumbria, the 47-year-old said it was swamped with “junk”, describing the home as “a rubbish dump with a roof on it”.
Pictures of the trash-strewn property show mountains of rubbish, clothes cups, old bottles, letters, newspapers and various other bits of waste.
He said he battled for months to evict the occupants – one of whom claimed he was an animal rescuer, and bragged about how well he looked after the creatures.
He had previously “rescued” a boa constrictor and stated that it would be “well looked after” – but it is understood to be the same snake that was found abandoned in the filthy home.
Phil, from Worlsey, Greater Manchester, said: "It was unbelievable, the sheer volume of, not just belongings, but actual rubbish and food.
"I've never seen anything like it in my life – it was like a rubbish dump with a roof on it.”
He added: "I saw this huge tank and it was dirty. I looked a bit closer into the tank and got the shock of my life – there was this gigantic snake curled up.
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"I was terrified, I screamed and ran out of the house because the shock of seeing something like that was unbelievable."
Phil said the tenants’ former neighbours told him they were hoarders, getting daily deliveries but never throwing anything away.
The landlord said: "There was mould growing from the carpet and it was full of urine, mealworms – you name it, it was rotten.
"There was also evidence in a number of spots of rodent damage and a bit of an infestation with holes gnawed through places around the house.
"The daughter's room was the worst – my partner Lisa cleared that and had to run out of the house heaving and retching numerous times because of the stench of urine.
Phil, who worked in Australia for six years, issued a formal notice for the tenants to vacate the bungalow upon his return to the UK in late 2020 -but he claims they didn’t leave for another year, and refused to pay rent for the final six months.
After the shocking discovery, Phil phoned the RSPCA who collected the live snake on New Year’s Eve.
Due to the discovery of another live snake as well as two dead snakes and other dead exotic animals – including fish, scorpions and a tarantula – the RSPCA officers called the police, who sent an officer to witness the recovery of the animals.
Once they were removed, the locks were changed and the tenant was given a month to remove the rest of his belongings before the clean up could begin.
It took the landlord, his partner Lisa McCartney, 40, and some friends around 54 stomach-churning hours to clear all of the rubbish and rip the soiled carpets out.
The “heartbroken” landlord has vowed never to rent the property out again, and hopes to return the bungalow to its former state.
But Phil, a HR manager, was rejected for any compensation by his insurance.
He is calling for more support for landlords with “rogue tenants”.
Phil said: "I spoke to a solicitor who said the law has been written to protect tenants against rogue landlords but what it really does is protect rogue tenants.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said the snakes had been rehomed and an investigation into the mistreatment was underway.
Cumbria Police confirmed that an officer attended the incident and supported the RSPCA.
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