Stripped by thieves, British couple put Silves house up for rent … FREE!

“House for rent in Silves, with no back windows, no boiler, no taps, no back door, but you can have it free and just pay the bills” – this is the unusual proposition being put by a British couple pushed by the desperation of seeing their property repeatedly ransacked by local thieves.

“We know who is doing it,” Linda Heyward told SIC TV news yesterday. “But the GNR say they can’t do anything unless they catch the thieves red-handed.”

The couple were in the process of trying to sell the property – but every time they get a viewing and turn up to show the house, they find more devastation.

The last time they discovered they had lost all the metal work on the outside of the house: shutters, gates, wall lights – and inside they found the place stripped of “every bit of metal” it had: the boiler, radiators, “every tap in the house” as well as air-conditioning units.

The pair also found the kitchen had been targeted, but left presumably for another day.

“This part of the cooker had been removed,” Kevin Harding showed TV reporters, “so presumably they were coming back to take it. I think also they were preparing to take the doors” of the kitchen units, he added.

“If this had been the house of a celebrity or someone in government, the police would have been swarming,” said Ms Heyward. “We are just everyday people. What can we do?”

According to SIC, Harding’s initial idea simply to strip the house of everything has now given way to the idea of free rental, to “anyone who wants to make the house safe and look after it”.

“They will have to put in a sink, a boiler, two windows, a back door,” he said. “But they can have free rent, just pay the bills!”

SIC did not however give viewers any way of getting in touch with the couple, so the Resident is attempting to locate them and get more details.

The house appears to be on an urbanisation and certainly has neighbours, as the couple claimed these too had been victims of the relentless metal thieves.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]