A LANDLORD is offering the chance for a tenant to live rent free in a three bedroom house –but only if they are a dab hand at DIY.

The offer of rent free living has been made by private landlords Jax and David Ayton, who are looking for someone to take on an end of terrace property in Neasham Road, Darlington, that was trashed by a previous tenant, leaving it uninhabitable.

The couple want someone who is prepared to renovate the property while living there, before becoming a regular rent-paying tenant once the work is complete.

Mr and Mrs Ayton hope the offer will be of interest to someone who wants to decorate a house in their own style – although they will have to live in less than comfortable surroundings at first.

The house was once a well-presented family home but it was badly damaged by a previous tenant who knocked holes in the walls, allowed her cat to defecate on the floor and burned the garage down.

The tenant was evicted but the empty property then became a target for metal thieves, who smashed the rear windows and stripped the property of its pipes and electrical wiring.

Mrs Ayton said: “It was a lovely house, it was all done up to a good standard and it was a nice place to live.

“This tenant completely trashed the place so obviously we asked her to leave. We couldn’t afford to do it up again and slowly but surely people noticed that it was empty and it became a target.

“They’ve taken everything except the floorboards – the circuit board, the boiler and all the piping has gone. It’s in a desperate state of repair.”

Mr and Mrs Ayton will bring the house up to a safe standard to live in, with new windows and electrics, before any tenant takes it on, but are looking for someone to refurbish it back to a liveable standard.

They will also provide any building materials necessary.

Anyone interested in taking on the property is asked to contact Bellwood and Harris Letting Agents on 01325-287286.