‘I can’t believe they let people see this’ bloke tours ‘worst house in England’

If you’re buying a property at auction, it’s a good idea to visit the place first so you can see it for yourself. Estate agents’ photos can be deceptive.

But not even the most brilliant photographer on Earth could take a flattering picture of a three-bedroomed former cannabis farm in Middlesborough, which has been described by urban explorer Wandering Turnip as “the worst house in England”.

The house, which is to be auctioned next week with a guide price of £10,000, has been on the market for over a year. When the YouTuber – real name David Burnip – visited it last year he was shocked by its appearance but overwhelmed by something the photos can’t show – the smell.

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Every room is littered with rubbish; bedding, food containers and a number of items that are scorched beyond recognition cover so much of the floor that whole areas of the house are impassable. “I cannot believe [the estate agents] were letting people walk around here,” David says, “it is totally trashed.”

There’s evidence that this property, like a few others on his “worst houses available for sale” list, is a former cannabis grow house. Criminals occupy vacant properties, often hacking into electricity meters to drive powerful heat lamps, and grow as much marijuana as they can before the law catches up with them. Or, as in this case, the house burns down.

Large parts of the house’s roof are missing, where flames tore through it. That’s the problem with buying property at auction, David says: “The pictures don't show this wall, they don’t show this part of the house that looks like this – they just show the rooms that are actually in all right shape.”

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Fire wasn’t the house’s only problem. David investigated a “gushing water sound,” and discovered that one of the pipes feeding the boiler had been bent out of shape and was just pouring water all over the kitchen floor. He suggested to the estate agent showing him around that they might want to get that fixed “but they didn't seem too interested.”

And of course, with half the roof missing the house is open to the elements, so “everywhere you were talking felt like stepping on a wet sponge.” He added: It did not feel safe at all.”

If you’re in the market for a “fixer upper” and shaven’t been put off by the shocking details, the house is to be sold by estate agents McHugh & Co. in an online auction as lot 129 on Thursday 26 Oct 26, 2023. You won’t be surprised to hear that the sellers are offering it as Vacant Possession.

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