A couple with two children under three and another one on the way were horrified by what they discovered when they swapped their recently decorated council flat for a three bedroom home.
Nathan Ramage and his wife were so disgusted with the faeces-infested house in Long Chaulden, Hemel Hempstead, that they have not yet been able to move in with their children aged 18 months and two-and-a-half.
Instead the couple have embarked on a massive clean up operation since getting the keys to their new Dacorum Borough Council-owned home on Friday.
They discovered two dead pets inside – a cat and a rabbit – as well as human and animal faeces, soiled underwear, sick splattered walls, and a kitchen that has been damaged by a water leak.
Nathan said: “It is completely unacceptable.
The dad, who works in a call centre for The Original Bowling Company, said the property was inspected by a council official before they agreed to the mutual exchange under housing rules.
He said according to the council the only things wrong were a door off its hinges and a swing that had been cemented into the ground in the back garden.
“I thought: That’s no problem, I can fix that,” said Nathan.
“My children have had to stay at their grandparents.
“We are not a benefits household, we work hard and pay full rent.
“We were in a two bedroom flat and when we got offered a three bedroom house we jumped at the chance.
“Since Friday my wife has been in tears. We have removed 125 black bags full of rubbish.
“I will clean out dead animals and faeces but we have got to have somewhere to clean and cook.”
After initially being told that they would have to pay for any repairs to the property the Ramage family met with a Dacorum Borough Council official on Tuesday afternoon. A surveyor was due to visit the property on Wednesday.
Council spokesman Madeleine Taggart-Smith said: “While we sympathise that it isn’t nice to move into a property that is in this condition, when tenants mutually exchange the cleanliness and condition of the property is the responsibility of the tenants and not Dacorum Borough Council.
“We can’t discuss individual cases but are working with the family on this matter.”