A decorator has revealed how he had to clear up after a ‘tenant from hell’ deliberately covered their flat in graffiti as ‘revenge’ for being evicted by the landlord. Simon Moore was called out to the ‘worst residential job’ he has ever had to tackle at the two-bedroom and one-bathroom flat in Weston-super-Mare after the ‘nightmare tenant’ finally left.
The landlord is said to have battled through a lengthy eviction process after the tenant stopped paying rent for months. Before vacating the property, the tenant covered the walls of every room in the flat, one of the bedroom windows and even some of the ceilings with graffiti, including a ‘**** you’ believed to be aimed at the landlord.
Simon says this ‘clever revenge’ ensured that they inflicted maximum financial loss to their former landlord without damaging any of the fittings or flooring, meaning they avoided committing criminal damage and the possibility of being prosecuted. The landlord is now reportedly considering selling up to avoid going through the same stressful ordeal again.
Simon said: “The landlord said there was a lot of graffiti and asked if we could sort it. When I saw it I was just like ‘oh my god’ – they did give me a picture first so I knew what to expect but it was still a shock. It was the worst residential job we’ve had. Normally it’s just dirty marks on the wall but this was another level.
“I think there had been an issue with the tenant not paying rent and so they put the graffiti on the walls because they were evicted – that was their sort of comeuppance. They’ve done a good job because they’ve not done any damage to any of the fittings – they’ve not got any paint on the bath, shower, kitchen units or carpets which is quite an achievement considering the amount of paint they’ve used.
“You think ‘why did they take that much trouble?’ but they’ve done that so it’s not criminal damage – it makes it a civil matter rather than a criminal one, which is very clever.” Among the graffiti were bold smiley face designs in black paint, a mushroom, a gothic Alice in Wonderland along with a giant caterpillar and hot pink Cheshire cat bathroom theme.
But the most striking was a bizarre message scrawled on one of the bedroom walls, believed to be aimed at the landlord about the eviction, which read: “Stand on my kids bed?! Run me over? **** you!” The head of Bristol-based painting service Mendip Decorators said the job, which took two workers five days to complete, cost the landlord around £2,000.
They had to use four coats of a thick, solvent-based paint to be able to get the walls back to a clean, white finish. Simon said: “I knew what paint to use because we’ve done similar projects. We did a commercial centre in Bristol where squatters had set fire to a caravan in the warehouse and done a lot of graffiti, so we had to cover up the damage and the graffiti. We knew we’d be able to do it but it took a lot – it took four coats.”
The decorator says that both he and the landlord were pleased with the result they were able to achieve in covering up all of the graffiti and returning the flat to its pristine, pre-lease state. According to Simon, the landlord is now looking to sell the property and give up being a landlord due to the stress caused by the ‘tenant from hell’ and the financial losses of the missed rent and damages.
Simon said: “I was pleased with the results because it was quite a big difference and the landlord was very pleased with the change as well. I think they’re going to sell it because I think they’ve had enough with the people not paying and then all the damage done.”