NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — How would you like to have a neighbor who not only abandons his house, but leaves it for squatters and rats to plague the neighborhood?
Mary Kearney, 67, said she is fed up with the conditions of the house next door to her in Woodside, Queens.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for the past three years it’s been there,” she told CBS 2’s John Slattery on Friday.
Kearney lives on Woodside Avenue next door to a home that was abandoned several years ago. It has since developed into an overgrown yard filled with debris, mosquitoes and rats.
“We had seen rodents in the yard, but we’ve seen mice in our yard,” Kearney said.
Neighbors on the other side are equally concerned about squatters.
“Homeless people go over there and find shelter and stuff,” neighbor Gerald Pasbangi said.
The current owner, who lives in Flushing, was not at home when CBS 2’s Slattery tried to reach him. Three years ago, he boarded up the Woodside house and since then, it’s been cited by the city as an unsafe building and structure.
As for the Health Department, it said it had “inspected this property last week and issued violations for overgrown weeds and debris. A compliance inspection is scheduled for next week to see if these violations were corrected.”
“The agencies should come in with a heavier hand, and if the guy doesn’t want the property, then he should sell the property,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
“Our main concern is fire ’cause they’re three feet away from the house,” Kearney said.
Neighbors who have waited for years for the owner to clean up the place said it’s a shame when you have to ask the city to play referee.
Two months ago, the Housing Department issued a violation, ordering the house be sealed. If the owner doesn’t comply, the city will do the work and charge the owner, officials said.
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