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Couple's new house was so filthy they're living in a caravan in the garden

PUBLISHED: 16:04 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 21 September 2019

Karl and Sarahjane Hammond outside the property in Lynn Fields, West Rudham  Picture: Chris Bishop

Karl and Sarahjane Hammond outside the property in Lynn Fields, West Rudham Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

A couple who rented a housing association property say it was so filthy they have had to buy a caravan and live in the garden.

The Hammonds took photographs inside the house after they moved in  Picture: Karl and Sarahjane HammondThe Hammonds took photographs inside the house after they moved in Picture: Karl and Sarahjane Hammond

Karl and Sarahjane Hammond took on the three-bed Freebridge Community Housing semi two months ago.

They found dog mess, carpets damp with pet urine and rubbish strewn through the house and garden.

The couple, who have two young children Mia, aged six and six-month-old brother Jonah, say the house is uninhabitable. But social landlord Freebridge Community Housing says they accepted the property in the condition it was in.

Karl Hammond in the front room of the property, whicch reeks of urine  Picture: Chris BishopKarl Hammond in the front room of the property, whicch reeks of urine Picture: Chris Bishop

Mr Hammond, 49, said the couple were more than £1,000 out of pocket after buying the caravan and paying for a deep clean.

Despite a three-day hygiene blitz, virtually every room still reeks of urine.

"The woman who came out with the deep clean team was in tears, she'd never seen anything like it," he said.

The Hammonds took photographs inside the house after they moved in  Picture: Karl and Sarahjane HammondThe Hammonds took photographs inside the house after they moved in Picture: Karl and Sarahjane Hammond

"It looked dirty, we knew we'd have to clean the place but there's got to be a cut off point.

"We're living in a two-berth caravan with our six-year-old daughter, six-month-old son and three dogs."

Mr Hammond, a full-time carer for his 38-year-old wife, who suffers from painful condition fibromyalgia, said King's Lynn-based Freebridge knew the condition that the property was in and should have cleaned it before it was let to them for £98 a week.

The £98 a week property in Lynn Fields, West Rudham  Picture: Chris BishopThe £98 a week property in Lynn Fields, West Rudham Picture: Chris Bishop

But Sophie Bates, its director of housing, said: "Mr and Mrs Hammond have moved to the address in West Rudham through what is called a mutual exchange. As part of this process we do explain that the property to be exchanged with has to be seen by the proposed new tenants, and as a result it is understood that the property is accepted in its viewed condition (if accepted), including the standard of cleanliness, decoration and repair.

"Freebridge have been in regular contact with the Hammonds over the last few weeks and have agreed a number of pieces of work to the property and will continue to work with them until these works have been completed."

The Hammonds took photographs inside the house after they moved in  Picture: Karl and Sarahjane HammondThe Hammonds took photographs inside the house after they moved in Picture: Karl and Sarahjane Hammond

Karl and Sarahjane Hammond, with baby son Jonah, in the tiny caravan they have had to buy to live in  Picture: Chris BishopKarl and Sarahjane Hammond, with baby son Jonah, in the tiny caravan they have had to buy to live in Picture: Chris Bishop

Rubbish in the garden of the property, including a freezer full of rotting food  picture: Chris BishopRubbish in the garden of the property, including a freezer full of rotting food picture: Chris Bishop

Rubbish in the garden of the property  Picture: Chris BishopRubbish in the garden of the property Picture: Chris Bishop

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