‘Landlords beware’ warns Sylvan Lake woman whose home was wrecked by former tenants

Wendy Sauvageau. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake NewsWendy Sauvageau. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
Wendy Sauvageau demonstrates how a new window in her rental unit will no longer close and needs to be replaced. The former tenants used duct tape to keep it closed. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake NewsWendy Sauvageau demonstrates how a new window in her rental unit will no longer close and needs to be replaced. The former tenants used duct tape to keep it closed. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
The newly installed carpet is dirty and riddled with garbage, and Sauvageau points out the wiring has been bent and pulled away from the wall.The newly installed carpet is dirty and riddled with garbage, and Sauvageau points out the wiring has been bent and pulled away from the wall.
Many items were left in the kitchen, including a kitchen table and food items. The drawers had been pulled out and left in the middle of the room and the hardware on the drawers were all bent or pulled off.Many items were left in the kitchen, including a kitchen table and food items. The drawers had been pulled out and left in the middle of the room and the hardware on the drawers were all bent or pulled off.
Pieces of the panelling on the walls has been pulled and chipped off. Sauvageau says it looks like it was chewed on.Pieces of the panelling on the walls has been pulled and chipped off. Sauvageau says it looks like it was chewed on.
In the bathroom, the face of a drawer was pulled off and garbage and other debris was strewn about the floor and counters.In the bathroom, the face of a drawer was pulled off and garbage and other debris was strewn about the floor and counters.

Landlords beware. That is the message Wendy Sauvageau is spreading after her rental home was trashed by tenants.

Sauvageau has been renting a small cottage for the last four years, and said until her last tenants she has had a good experience.

The trouble began just after Christmas with missed rent payments and finding out more people where living in the house than what was on the lease.

After months of difficulty, Sauvageau said she had enough and evicted the tenants. When she went to inspect the house at noon the day they were to leave, she said she was shocked by what she found.

“I have never seen such filth in my life. I could not believe the wanton damage,” she said.

The tenants left a garage full of chemicals and paint, bags of clothing and shoes were left throughout the house. Heavy furniture like a sofa and table were also left behind.

The hardwood floors in the living room were “shot to hell,” cabinets were damaged, the ceiling was scratched and bits of the paneling on the walls had been pulled off.

Sauvageau says a window, which was new when the tenants moved in, will have to be replaced as it no longer closes and locks. She will also need to repair or replace the fireplace in the living room because of damages.

“Your jaw just drops when you see it… The damage done, it wasn’t something that was done over night,” Sauvageau said.

“The one that really hurts is the floors. They were beautiful hardwood floors that we had redone and they are just a mess.”

The task of fixing up the small cabin home is no small feat, and one Sauvageau says she is unable to do herself.

She is on the waiting list for shoulder surgery, which makes moving and repairing the home difficult.

“The damage deposit won’t cover what was done. It’ll cost us at least $1,500 just to have everything left taken out,” she said.

The additional costs will also cut into her budget for everyday life. For instance, Sauvageau has been saving for a new truck, but will have to put the money into fixing up the house instead.

“Walking through you just think there goes my new deck, my new washing machine, a vacuum, the track has to wait.

“I was I the grocery story and I put back five things that I normally wouldn’t think about. I’m not wealthy, but I have never had to do that.”

After four years of renting the home out, Sauvageau says she is unsure if would do it again.

If she does, she says she will do things a little differently, and recognize the warning signs from day one.

“I will not have this happen again.”

In speaking with the police about the incident, and with Alberta Landlord and Tenant, she found the damages done to the home is considered vandalism and is an increasing problem for landlords.

To other landlords going through similar problems, Sauvageau says to not blame yourself.

“It hurts your pride and your self esteem… I just can’t believe someone would do something like this to another who tried to work with them, to give them a place to live.”

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

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo.)
Red Deer city council holds closed-door discussion about proposed aquatics centre

Recommended design, cost and location won’t be made public until next spring

A community gathering space was created in front of the new Red Deer Culture Services Centre before the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer’s Culture Services Centre to get additional $4.6 M in renovations

It’s one of many capital projects approved by city council

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, reported an additional 1,307 COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Mayor
Mayor Veer appointed as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer has been appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel by… Continue reading

Const. Jason Tress
Mountie testifies another RCMP officer sexually assaulted her at 2012 party

Former Mountie on trial for sexual assault in connection with incident in northwestern Alberta

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary's Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season's top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney watches late in the second half of the team's MLS Cup soccer match against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Seattle. Vanney has stepped down as coach of Toronto FC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo-Elaine Thompson
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Hamilton Forge FC's Giuliano Frano (8) heads the ball against CD Olimpia's Jorge Benguche (9) during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 second half soccer action in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Forge FC looks to win its way into the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday when it takes on Haiti's Arcahaie FC in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF League, a 22-team feeder competition that sends six clubs to CONCACAF's elite club tournament. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

President Donald Trump participates in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Flames and exhaust trail behind a Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission after it lifted off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, vials used by pharmacists to prepare syringes used on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial of the potential vaccine for COVID-19 rest on a lab table at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. An influential scientific panel on Tuesday, Dec. 1, is set to tackle one of the most pressing questions in the U.S. coronavirus epidemic: When the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available, who should be at the front of the line for shots? (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

Most Read