Riverview landlord warns others after tenant leaves 'disgusting' mess

A Riverview landlord says she was left with a huge cleanup bill after an evicted tenant left behind a "disgusting" mess that included several dead squids and animal and human feces mashed into the floors.

Tenant hid squid in the walls, left dead animals behind and mashed feces into the floor

Riverview landlord Susan Ostrow says she feels she has no recourse to recover the costs of damages caused by an evicted tenant. (CBC)

A Riverview landlord says she was left with a huge cleanup bill after an evicted tenant left behind a "disgusting" mess that included several dead squids and animal and human feces mashed into the floors.

Susan Ostrow says she has been unable to recoup her losses after finding about $4,000 worth of property damage scattered through her unit. 

Susan Ostrow says she found hundreds of dead flies as a result of the smell in the apartment. (CBC)

"What she did was turned the dryer on high with two bags of milk and a quilt in it. The apartment had hundreds of flies buzzing around. There was a recliner with dead squid sitting on it in the living room next to a pile of feces on the floor," she said. 

Ostrow says she had to evict a woman and her three children in August 2015 following non-payment of rent and several complaints from other tenants in the apartment building. But she never imagined what remained after the tenant left.

​'Horrific' smell

Ostrow says a few days after the eviction, the smell from the heated sour milk and dead squid was "horrific" and lingered until they made another discovery. 

"My business partner happened to notice the medicine cabinet was cracked. So when we pulled the medicine cabinet out there were the dead squid in the wall."

Susan Ostrow found feces mashed into the bathroom floor of the apartment after evicting a tenant. (CBC)

Ostrow says she kept detailed notes on the encounters she had with the tenant and tried to press charges to recoup the thousands it cost her to clean up. 

But after several bill collectors and agencies came looking for the former tenant she says she realized the woman had been using up to five different aliases.  

"I even called the person who acted as her reference when I called, but I'm no closer to finding her," said Ostrow. "Police says it's a civil matter and without a civic address and her real name I can't press charges." 

CBC contacted Codiac RCMP to speak about matter but did not receive a return call.

Ostraw did contact the province's Office of the Rentalsman and said while they were helpful, there was only so much they could do for her because the tenant never actually paid a damage deposit.

CBC attempted to contact the office, but it is closed for the weekend.

Unable to find the tenant

Ostrow said she even hired a pair of private investigators to track the woman down to no avail. She tried getting information for the tenant's government social assistance representatives, but says privacy laws keep her from obtaining a name or address. 

Riverview landlord, Susan Ostrow was left with a huge bill after cleaning up a disgusting mess left behind by an evicted tenant. 2:02

"I've given up. So I'm just trying to warn other landlords," said Ostrow. "But there needs to be a better system to protect landlords from stuff like this." 

She won't soon forget what she considers acts of vandalism the woman left behind. 

Ostrow says a playing card, the queen of diamonds was left by the pile of feces in the living room. She also found graffiti and lewd pictures drawn on the walls. 

"There were also more than a dozen car tires in the apartment, and those had dead squid in them," said Ostrow. "There were hundreds of flies everywhere. You couldn't open your mouth." 

About the Author

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.

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