BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A couple moved out to the country after tiring of the city life and thought they had found an ideal tenant to rent their west side home.
But for Rob Pankoke and Greg Cracolice, she turned out to be the tenant from hell. The tenant smashed out windows of the 19th Century home, destroyed woodwork, and demolished the appliances, plumbing and electrical work.
"I was devastated," Rob said. "I just could not believe people could be so cruel to other people."
Rob and Greg have been life partners for more than 20 years and when they decided to leave the city life for the wide open spaces, they found a tenant that seemed to be perfect.
"Well, we rented it to a woman, and she told us that she and her uncle were going to live here," Rob said.
But the tenant had her own ideas.
Greg explained, "She put the house on Craigslist as a boarding house, and was renting out rooms for rent. She has locks on every single door, including the attic."
When Rob and Greg's venture into the country didn't work out, they looked to return to their home, and that's when they learned their tenant was subletting to as many as dozen people at a time.
"All the windows were broken, the stairwell was damaged, everything was torn apart," Rob described. "The chandeliers were taken down, the bathrooms were destroyed. The kitchen was destroyed. It is just unbelievable."
The couple isn't really sure who trashed their home: the tenant, or the boarders she brought in.
Greg said, "She is the only one that made out, because she collected thousands of dollars of rent from people that had no idea they were being drawn in."
With their house now unlivable and the astronomical cost of fixing it, Greg and Rob are now on the verge of homelessness.
"A good friend of ours just selflessly handed me the key to a house that she had that was vacant, and if it was not for that, we would indeed be homeless," Greg said.
The couple have filed a police report and are hoping, if they can show they were the victims of fraud, they might be be able to get their homeowner's insurance restored. It was canceled when the tenant converted their single family dwelling to a boarding house.
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