Portsmouth house-share makes stomach-turning discovery - shocking the former tenants who were blamed for 'rotten' smell

STUDENTS made a stomach-turning discovering within days of occupying a Southsea property – and it’s shocked the previous tenants who lost their £1,500 deposit to cleaning and maintenance charges.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 4:01 pm
14 Margate Road. Picture: Google Maps

The current tenants of 14 Margate Road told their landlord James Oliver Properties about a ‘rotten’ smell coming from their new kitchen shortly after arriving last September.

Less than a week later, the group was horrified when a maintenance man checked the property and uncovered a dead rat decomposing under a kitchen floorboard.

The rat looked ‘like it had been rotting there for months’, according to current resident Tassyana Jenkins, a first year forensic psychology student.

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Izzy Boreham and her housemates were worried something had died in their house after their long running battle with rodents in the property. Picture: Izzy Boreham

Now, the former tenants have shown that they repeatedly reported a ‘dead animal’ smell coming from the kitchen shortly before they moved out and after an ongoing battle with rats.

But the company said the pong’s cause was ‘behavioural’, providing a pest control report which blamed food stuck in a refrigerator.

Rectifying the smell was part of the billable charges when the previous tenants moved out, losing their £1,500 deposit in what James Oliver Properties called a ‘generous’ outcome – as the firm estimated it would cost £3,000 to return the property to its original condition.

In an email to the group explaining further end-of-tenancy charges, a representative wrote: ‘The cleaners and decorators also need to work on what cannot also be seen such as the odour of the property.

‘I know you went through lengths to inform me of the smell but this has been deemed behavioural and not structural...it is an odour that has developed over the past few months of your tenancy and not an odour that we can welcome our incoming tenants with.’

Now former tenant Izzy Boreham feels that landlords should have a greater sense of ‘responsibility’ when following up students’ concerns.

She said: ‘I’m not trying to get any money now. There’s no financial claims I want to make.

‘I just want them to take a level of responsibility. I feel students should be better listened to.’

James Oliver Properties had instructed several cleaning and pest control professionals to attend to the property after the odour was reported, according to a spokesman from the firm.

He said: ‘The rodent in the floorboard underneath the property though unfortunate was missed by three separate professionals that we instructed to tend to the property prior to the tenant’s arrival in September 2020.

‘Ultimately, our team’s response to the issue was proactive and resolved through the process of elimination.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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