Foreclosed home proves problematic for Hanover residents

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Hanover's chief building inspector knows about the house and says it's tough because the property has been foreclosed on. But, people who live on the block don't want to hear excuses. They want the problem fixed.

"Biggest fear rats, rats. Because I saw them. It was almost the size of a kitten. I fell walking my dog. I fell in the middle of the street when he saw rats. He took off for them," said local resident Ann Hollins.

No good comes from a foreclosed property. When it's abandoned and unclear who actually owns it, tall grass becomes overgrown vegetation, and debris attracts wildlife. It's making life unbearable for other property owners, in Hanover's Bell Creek Estates. People complained to 12, because of the response, they say they're getting from Hanover county inspectors.

"The only ordinance they've got, grass can't be about 15 inches. What would you say the height of this is, 2 foot? It's degrading my house," said O.P. Martin, local resident.

According to county records, the Lynmar Lane House is owned by a Cheryl Carlton. We haven't been able to reach her but the building inspector says the owner was ordered to cut the grass.... But hasn't.

"The next step for us is to cut the grass ourselves, then place a lien on the property," said Richard Bartell, Hanover's chief building inspector.

The chief inspector says, it's not as simple as it seems, forcing compliance on this property.

"When a property goes into foreclosure there's some... It's not real clear who owns the property and to plaice a lien is a little difficult. We will have somebody go by and take a look," said Bartell.

The county says it's not in a position to fine anyone, but, it can and will take someone to court, if a violation is repeatedly ignored. Meantime, an inspector will visit the property soon, cut the grass and bill the owner of record.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.