A property owner has come up with a novel way to sell a vandal-hit Hartlepool house.
The two-bed terraced house in Oxford Road has been badly damaged after being broken into and having its boiler and all of the copper piping stolen.
The thieves caused a lot of damage in the process including ripping up the floorboards and water damage.
Now owner John Coventry, 70, is offering to give the house to someone who is willing to live in and repair it while paying him a monthly rent for seven years.
After that time the house will be theirs.
Mr Coventry, who is based in the Bristol area, said: “I am proposing a lease option situation where the tenant would be given the opportunity to get the house for free after seven years if they comply with the conditions.
“In the meantime they would agree to pay me rent for 84 months of £400 a month and do the repairs.
“At the end the house is theirs free and clear, to do what they like with it.”
Mr Coventry believes the proposition is ideal for families and anyone who wants to own their own home, especially anyone with do it yourself skills and plumbing knowledge.
The insurance estimate for the house is £11,500 but Mr Coventry says that could be significantly reduced by someone with DIY skills taking on the house and improving it.
“The water main was left running until it was discovered, and the house needs drying out,” he added.
“The kitchen and bathroom suffered damage and some floorboards were taken up.”
Mr Coventry, a retired landlord, says he is unable to let it to tenants due to the state the property is currently in.
And he says he cannot sell it due to the size of the mortgage as he bought it in 2006 before the financial crash of 2008 when property prices dived.
Mr Coventry added the rent costs would be covered by anyone claiming housing benefit or if not by the successful candidate renting out a room to a friend.
And he says he can give a rent free period to help the tenant-buyer while they get started on the repairs.
Anyone interested in taking up the offer and to obtain full details can contact Mr Coventry by emailing him at: email@example.com