A Regina man was forced to return home from a trip early after he says the tenants he found to rent his home had left the place trashed.

Zachary Nenson had a month left of his six-month trip to South America when he received a phone call from his mother, telling him that the house had been destroyed.

“I got on the phone with her and she was devastated,” Nenson told CTV Regina. “She said every floor was wrecked, every wall, every bathroom.”

Nenson was shocked too. He says he had found what he thought were the perfect tenants after calling their references. However after the tenants failed to pay their rent, his mother, managing the property while he was away, went to check on the house.

Nenson says she found the house empty of tenants and furniture, most of which had been stolen, along with floors and walls destroyed and covered in paint. He adds the walls were covered in paint and marker and the toilets in the bathroom were smashed to pieces.

“It’s $40,000 (in damage) with all the flooring, the bathrooms, the walls, the paint (and) new appliances,” said Nenson.

Nenson says he contacted the police who said officials are investigating, but likely won’t be able to press charges as the damage was caused on the inside of the house without anyone there to witness it happening.

“They’re doing everything they can but because no one really saw them do the damage… they don’t know what they can do,” said Nenson.

Nenson says he also contacted his insurance company who said it wouldn’t be covering any of the damage because it was created by the tenants.

According to Ken Domm, of Knight Archer Insurance, only some insurance policies cover vandalism on tenant properties if a stranger has caused the damage.

“It’s normally an exclusion in most insurance markets,” said Domm. “Any… tenant-caused-damage is an exclusion.”

Still, Domm recommends landlords immediately contact their insurance company to ensure they are covered under that umbrella.

Nenson is now headed to the Office of Residential Tenancies to see if it can offer any help. In the meantime, he has a warning for other landlords.

“If you are renting out your house, do every background check possible,” said Nenson. “I mean do criminal record checks, phone (their) references, phone (their) jobs.”

With a report from CTV Regina’s Taylor Rattray