You know your house is messy when a forensics team clad in hazmat suits has to come and shut down your street to clean it up over five days.

That's the situation that unfolded at a dilapidated terrace house in the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills this week.

The unlivable home made national headlines after it sold for $1.6 million despite being left in a terrible state, reports

Selling agent Darren Pearce of BresicWhitney Darlinghurst said the property made him feel sick. But before the $70,000 clean up, it was much worse.


"It smelt like really, really bad mould and mildew and faeces from rats. A dirty, dirty smell," Jerry Cook, director at National Trauma and Crime Scene Cleaning said of the project.

He and a team of six workers were contracted to clean up the home before potential buyers were shown the property.

The home has been a mystery for years. After it's former occupant - a hoarder - abandoned the property and left it filled to the sky with her collections, the home fell into disrepair before being inhabited by squatters and junkies.

It was filled with so much junk the front door could barely be pushed open.

"You virtually start at the front door and chip away," Cook said. "It was at the point where you open the door and climb up like a mountain and then start from there. It was six or seven foot high."

He recalled: "One floor of the bedroom had so much water damage that the whole floor and all the hoarded rubbish came crashing down and landed on the next floor on top of that hoarded rubbish."

So what kind of things did the previous occupant hoard? Everything.

"Books, clothes, tea sets - so many tea sets," Cook said.

Over the years, plastic bottles of urine had also been collected in the home. In one photo, a book sits on top of a pile of rubbish in one room.

"The Last Two Million Years," reads the tarnished gold title embossed on the hard cover - sarcastically suggesting the amount of time it had been sitting in the dark, dank rooms on Waterloo St.

Still, it wasn't the worst thing Cook has seen on the job.

"Out of 10 it was probably a nine," he shrugs.

Jerry Cook of National Trauma & Crime Scene Cleaning at the Waterloo Street house. Photo / News Corp Australia
Jerry Cook of National Trauma & Crime Scene Cleaning at the Waterloo Street house. Photo / News Corp Australia