LANDLORD'S HEADACHE: While many of us have to deal with unwelcome house bugs, some unfortunate home owners are battling another sort of "bug" - tenants who refuse to pay rent, vacate the premises or run off at night to escape loan sharks, leaving behind utility bills as souvenirs.
Audrey Vijaindren speaks to industry experts and victims of this ever-increasing problem
SINKS and toilet bowls filled with cement, walls broken by sledgehammers, damaged furniture and front doors adorned with red paint.
At one point or another, we have all heard horror stories about tenants who ruthlessly destroy a place you once called home, or worse still, refuse to leave your house.
So much so, that many home owners would rather leave their houses empty than rent them to strangers, who may turn on them from one rent cheque to another.
Louisa (not her real name) is one such victim who has sworn off renting her house indefinitely.
"My nightmare began almost 15 years ago when I rented out my bungalow in Petaling Jaya to this seemingly nice, small family.
"They were good paymasters in the beginning, never defaulting in their rent and hardly ever complaining about the condition of the house. As I was working outstation, this was an ideal situation for me and my family.
"Problems started happening as soon as they showed interest in buying the property. At first, my husband and I thought it was a good idea because our children were all grown up and the house was too big for just the two of us.
"However, as soon as the sale and purchase agreement was signed, our friendly tenants became our worst enemy.
"Six months after paying the 10 per cent deposit, we stopped receiving any money from them, be it rental or the balance due for the sale.
"After numerous calls which went unanswered, we decided to pay them a visit. We were horrified to find a 10-foot brick wall surrounding the house.