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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Five-year-old Bayne Krause poses for a photo with his mom Marianne. Bayne’s shirt reads, ‘I have Cystic Fibrosis. Help keep me healthy, please social distance.’ Photo: Laurie Tritschler
West Kootenay mom promotes awareness of cystic fibrosis

Marianne Krause wants people to know what it’s like for her five-year-old son to live with CF

The higher elevation melt is getting underway as rivers such as Mark Creek in Kimberley are running faster. Paul Rodgers file
Snow packs down just below normal in East and West Kootenay

The West Kootenay in particular had below normal precipitation in April

Police are cautioning drivers to keep a sharp eye on the road after a Fruitvale man hit and killed an elk along Highway 2A near Trail. The driver was reported to be uninjured, though the car was significantly damaged. Photo: Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Heads up for wildlife warn police after crash with elk on West Kootenay highway

The accident happened in the early morning hours of April 30

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

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The real estate boom across the Okanagan has not felt a negative impact from the coronavirus impact on our national economy. (Contributed)
Booming year ahead, says Kootenay Association of Realtors

Strong real estate sales continue throughout Kootenays

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

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

Most Read