Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

The first problem Wes Burden noticed at his Spallumcheen four-bedroom, two-bath rental home was water on the basement ceiling.

That would become part of Burden’s burden.

Burden’s tenants of 10 years, given a two-month eviction notice in March, bolted from the rental home in the middle of the night but not before essentially trashing the entire home.

“I had to fill out paperwork because you’re not allowed to just enter the home, you have to give the tenants written notice that you want to come in,” said Burden, a retired saw filer, on Monday, April 12. He rented the upstairs portion to the tenants who were allowed by Burden to use the basement of the rental for storage.

“When I saw the water on the ceiling in the basement, that’s when I went to get the keys and go in.”

Upstairs, Burden found every room “stacked to the ceiling with junk” and the tenants gone. Toilets were overflowing or plugged with feces and toilet paper and a five-gallon bucket had also been used as a toilet.

Animal feces were also found in the home.

The tenants had a couple of dogs and an unknown number of cats, now being cared for by an Armstrong veterinary clinic – the vet telling Burden he was stupified by what he saw, saying the house was not fit for any animal.

Plastic water bottles were laying on the floor, as were plastic bags and cat litter bags. Boxes were everywhere. Food was strewn about. Toiletries were left behind on and in a bathroom sink.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Burden.

Clean up to date has cost Burden an estimated $4,000, and he’s looking at anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000 to fix the house.

“I have to replace two rooms, tear up the floors and walls and sanitize it,” he said.

Burden had wanted to evict the tenants in 2020 but decided against it because of the pandemic.

Admitting that he and the tenants had some ups and downs over the nearly 10-years of them staying at his home, Burden gave them notice in March.

After he fixes the home, Burden said he will become more diligent as a landlord.

He’ll be more selective in who he chooses to rent the home, he said, and will do comprehensive background and reference checks. He plans to take a larger damage deposit and be more active in walking through the home.

“I’ve never had this problem before,” said Burden. “But this does make me scared.”

READ MORE: Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

READ MORE: Hundreds of nails placed on popular Penticton bike trail



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Rental accommodation

 

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Be A Voice: A Musician’s Guide for the Live Performance, unlocks the keys to establishing a presence on stage. (Contributed - Jason Parsons)
Vancouver Islander writes the book on live performances

Jason Parsons’ new book unlocks the keys to establishing a presence on stage

VIU’s ‘Portal’ magazine is turning 30 years old. (Image courtesy Chantelle Calitz)
Vancouver Island University’s literary magazine ‘Portal’ celebrates 30 years

Virtual launch featuring contributor readings took place April 30

This image, taken with a help of microscope, shows surf smelt eggs. North Saanich’s Tryon Beach is perhaps the most productive breeding ground for surf smelt as well as Pacific sand lance. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
North Saanich’s Tryon beach is a biological gold mine

Beach serves as a productive breeding ground for fish crucial for birds and large animals

Paul Beltgens will never advocate for the export of raw logs under any circumstances. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Innovative approach keeps small Vancouver Island forest company running strong

Owner Paul Beltgens embraces changing times, utilizes high standards in production

Pacific sand dollars are a local species which belong to the same group as sea urchins. While alive, they are covered entirely by thousands of densely packed, short and slender spikes. (Photo courtesy of Louise Page)
The peculiar life of Vancouver Island’s Pacific sand dollar

UVic biology professor Louise Page offers a glace into sand dollars’ world under the water

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

The Lake Cowichan branch of the Royal Bank of Canada is closing. (Google)
Lake Cowichan’s RBC branch will close in November

RBC says banking needs will still be met

Central Saanich council has issued a temporary order against the demolition of the Brentwood Anglican Chapel building at 788 Sea Drive. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich temporarily saves historic chapel from demolition

Temporary protection order for Brentwood Anglican Chapel building valid for 60 days

Most Read