A landlord is left to clean up a giant mess after evicting a family from her rental home on Louisiana Avenue in Lake Charles.
"I'd like to have died when I walked in," said Victoria Cormier when she stepped inside her rental house. "There's trash everywhere."
Wrappers, food, empty aluminum cans, cigarette butts, and other things we won't mention, can be found all across the floor -- along with bugs crawling on nearly every inch of the house.
"It's unbelievable," she said.
Cormier said they also found at least 10 cats roaming inside.
"Just the smell alone is horrific," said Cormier.
For the last seven months a man, a woman and their two children rented the house - security deposit free.
"Even a deposit wouldn't have covered this," said Cormier. She explained that her husband, Donald, felt badly for the couple after meeting them at the courthouse. He was in the process of evicting another renter and this family had nowhere to go - they, too, were getting evicted.
Neighbors began to complain to the city about the smell and trash around the property. The Cormiers received three letters from the city and finally had to evict the family.
"Out of the goodness of our hearts to these people - and this is what they did," she said.
So what can property managers do when they find themselves in this situation?
KPLC spoke with Andrea Bryant at Vasseur Real Estate and Property Management who said landlords have options.
"Unfortunately, you haven't done the homework to avoid it," said Bryant. "You can take them to them to collections if you have expenses; you can also put a judgment on them, and then you can also sue them."
And Bryant had this advice for other landlords.
"Hiring a property manager is one smart way to go and you definitely want to do a background report, previous rental history, and just get more information before you take the money and let them move in," Bryant said.
Now, all the Cormiers can do is clean up.
"Totally disgusted over it that children are living in it. That's what hurt my feelings more than anything and they don't even know - like it's normal."
The Cormiers estimate the damages will cost them thousands to repair before they can rent it out again.
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