A LANDLORD said he did not know whether "to laugh or have a heart attack" when he discovered this three-bedroom family home had been utterly ransacked by the outgoing tenants.
Mohamed Shabir, who owns 45 homes across south London, said he believed the damage caused – including stripping the property of its piping – would cost £20,000 to repair.
And he claimed it was situations such as this that put landlords off renting to social housing tenants and exacerbated Croydon's critical housing shortage.
"All the time you hear that tenants get a bad deal from their landlords – but this is the reality. It has happened to me four times now and I can't let it happen again," he told the Advertiser.
"I'm not the only person this has happened to – it happens all the time.
"The council says we should take on more social housing tenants, but this is what happens when we do."
Damage caused to the three-bedroom north Croydon property, whose precise location the Advertiser is not publishing for legal reasons, included:
Floorboards ripped up to steal copper piping
The boiler torn from the wall and stolen
Doors pulled from their hinges and furniture trashed
The gas meter was stolen
Mr Shabir is adamant the damage was done by his former tenant and her "druggie" boyfriend and was not the result of a subsequent break-in.
And to make matters worse, the Tooting-based landlord said he was now unable to contact the woman because she is in a women's hostel.
"I've reported it to the police but they're not interested," he added.
Mr Shabir said his tenant had been recommended by Bromley Council after fleeing domestic violence.
"I thought I was doing a good thing – giving a home to a vulnerable family – but this is how I am repaid," he said.
"What they [the council] need to do is to make the tenant responsible for their actions. They have to warn the tenants that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.
"If they are going to do something like this, the money should be taken from their benefits.
"If there was going to be a real consequence for them, then they would soon stop doing this sort of thing."
Police said they were investigating the case.