Horror tenants trashed this original display home before they were finally evicted — but that didn’t stop a developer dropping almost $1 million on the former landmark property.
The three-bedroom Labrador home was marketed by Braden Lamb, of BL Property Co, and sold for $920,000 despite its dilapidated and damaged condition.
It was one of the first houses built in the neighbourhood in 1960, designed to entice a post-war generation into the great Australian dream of home ownership.
Local families admired its modern finishes before visiting the builder’s sales office on the home’s mezzanine level.
The property changed hands over the years but was beautifully maintained — until its sad demise at the hands of tenants who took advantage of their generous landlord, investor Francine Clough.
Its retro patina was replaced with holes in the walls, broken doors and windows, foul stains and piles of rubbish.
Mr Lamb said the 779sq m site would be landbanked then redeveloped by a buyer who recognised the potential of the undervalued local market.
Ms Clough had rented the Turpin Rd home herself during the 1990s, raising her two children there before relocating to Sydney.
Her heart skipped a beat years later when she saw the sentimental property up for sale. She purchased it for $317,104 in 2008 and has leased it since.
About ten years ago, Ms Clough took a chance on a struggling family, offering discounted rent of between $370 and $420 a week, but they consistently fell behind until they owed $7,000.
“There were quite a number of generations living in the house, but being a bit of a bleeding heart I really gave these people a break,” Ms Clough said.
“I maintained the rent at a very low rent — I was just happy to cover my expenses.
“I certainly was not a greedy landlord, which makes it even more difficult because they treated me like I hadn’t done anything for them when I allowed them to catch up on rent arrears, and even helped them try and find solutions to their financial problems.
“I was over being the nice landlord. Even a friend of mine called me the slumlord,” she said.
The tenants were finally evicted and fled early on the morning Ms Clough was due to fly up. They left furniture, clothing, food, and filth that would later take three truckloads to clear.
While relieved the place had sold, Ms Clough admitted she was sad its former glory was now just a memory.
“We need to maintain and keep the heritage of the area and really appreciate the older style homes,” she said.
Mr Lamb said the marketing campaign had attracted many inquiries from locals who recognised the “nostalgic” value of the property.
“Surprisingly, 80 or 90 per cent of people who came through this house were actually looking to do a serious renovation and turn it into a lovely, beautiful family home again,” he said.
PropTrack’s June Market Trends snapshot shows house prices in Labrador were up 14 per cent over the last three months, to a median of $800,000.