Property owner’s nightmare: ‘My house was a drug den’
A FAR North homeowner faced a horrifying clean-up and a bureaucratic nightmare after her rental property was turned into a drug den.
Naomi Torres, who lives on the Tablelands, rented her property at Manoora to a man she said was employed in mining - but things turned sour when she visited to discover him smoking drugs.
Then she got a call from the man's girlfriend saying he had been incarcerated on drug-related charges - and to her shock, she was asked if other people in the home could stay there.
"I had never approved other occupants but was told, 'well, there's (other people) all living here'," Ms Torres said.
"I was told by another 'those junkies have invaded your house, it's now a crack den and known as the place to get meth in Manoora'.
"I rang police that night and they told me I couldn't get them out as they were invited guests of (the tenant), I would have to go to the court and get a warrant of possession."
As she ran into a wall of red tape, Ms Torres was told by the Residential Tenancies Authority she had to serve a breach notice before she could apply for a warrant of possession. She couldn't track the tenant down to serve notice, eventually being told he was in transit to prison.
A court clerk suggested Ms Torres call police and have the gang evicted for trespassing. "While I waited for police, I saw seven drug deals go on - you could see the substance in their hands," Ms Torres said.
"A girl said 'what are you doing at our house' and I said 'you're trespassing' and the police backed me up.
"There was bags and mess everywhere, crack pipes, needles - it took an hour to get them off the property, they were so drugged out of their heads, they were nonsensical," she said.
"They are just degenerates, and the scary thing is that they obviously had a side business thieving mobile phones to get drugs. There was a set-up in the back shed, I thought they were tinkering with bikes but they were stolen bikes being remodelled to sell. They had absolutely no respect for property, no moral code," she said.
"Because this is so rife in Cairns maybe there is a level of complacency."
Cairns Senior Constable Matt Cornish said contacting police was the right move.
"If a person attends a property without the permission of the owner or tenant then that person may be committing trespass," he said.
property Originally published as FNQ property owner's nightmare: 'My house was a drug den'