You Ask: What's going to be done about this vacant home in my neighborhood?
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - If you take a look around your neighborhood, chances are there's a foreclosed home. It's obviously hard on those forced out, but the houses they leave behind are posing problems too. One homeowner emailed Action News about a vacant home that was foreclosed on. He says is putting his health at risk. He wanted to know who is responsible for cleaning it up.
"It's a health hazard to all the people that live around here," said John Bisci.
"It just blows my mind that I live across the street from something like this," said Mark Sanders.
"It's dark, black and smells horrible," said Sue McGinnis who lives next door to the house.
It's a sign of the times for these neighbors, another foreclosed home in their East Las Vegas community near Sahara and Tree Line. But this one, is a little different. The door locks are gone, the garage door stands wide open and the inside is covered with what looks like mold.
"That mildew has a real bad odor and smell to it to and we breathe it from time to time," said Sue McGinnis.
John Bisci was so sick of seeing the abandoned property he went in and took pictures to show what's growing inside. The master bedroom, hallway, and closet are splattered with a brownish black substance.
He emailed the images to Action News hoping something could be done about this eyesore and potential health hazard.
"It was sickening. It was absolutely sickening," said John Bisci, who lives nearby.
Action News found the house is owned by Dovenmuehle Mortgage out of Illinois. The constable's office served an eviction notice August 16, 2010. Since then neighbors say they haven't seen much activity except for people who shouldn't be there.
"People come in and out of here," said Sue.
"It's almost like an invitation you know having the door open," said Mark.
Action News called the mortgage company repeatedly to get answers about the condition of the house. We left voicemails but we never did get a call back.
"They knew enough about the house to kick the people out when they stopped paying for it and that's when they seem to stop caring," said John.
In addition to emailing us, John reached out to his district's commissioner, code enforcement and the Southern Nevada Health District. Code Enforcement came out closed the garage door and made sure the house was locked.
But now neighbors want to know what's going to be done about the situation inside. When the doors were open they say the winds brought the mildewy smell travel right over to their yard.
They say the smell made them cough and caused their eyes to water.
"My wife and I have been here for 10 years and we've never been sick this often in the last 6 or 8 months since this problem started," said John McGinnis.
Since the suspected mold is on the inside of the home, the health district doesn't consider it a public health threat, so they say there's nothing they can do. They say it's up to the owner to remedy the problem.
So what happens when the owner is out of state and probably hasn't seen what the inside looks like?
"There needs to be an obligation. That means they need to keep the lawn up, they need to keep the place secure, they need to make sure that graffiti is taken care of," said County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.
Commissioner Giunchigliani believes we need laws for situations like this where a company owns a home that's sitting vacant. Those living on Amber Crest want more immediate action but they know that's not likely to happen.
"I think they need to step forward for us because we live here and they're way out there," said John McGinnis.
"I don't want to be ashamed when I come home from work," said John.
Surprisingly, the home in that East Las Vegas neighborhood wasn't violating any code but the county did secure it since John filed a complaint and the owner's out of town.
If a house in your neighborhood is violating county code you can report it to the Public Response Office. You can call them at 702- 455 - 4191, 24 hours a day. You can also file a complaint online, click here to learn how to do that.