CBS4 Problem Solvers: Neighbors upset about unsightly abandoned home

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- People living along Rockville Road are fed up with an abandoned house in their neighborhood.

They say the house has been empty for three years. Time and time again, homeowners nearby like Mary Billheimer walk outside to find knee-high grass and weeds, empty beer cans and trash, rodents running around and squatters who have broken into the home.

“My husband had cancer surgery and he’s up on a ladder trying to cut the weeds and the trees off our fencing,” Billheimer said.

She has started setting traps to catch the rodents coming from the property.

That’s why she called the CBS4 Problem Solvers.

The house, which was boarded up, now belongs to a company called Casas Baratas. Their sign is in the front yard, advertising the house for sale. Online, it’s listed at $69,900. The company didn’t answer our phone calls or emails and the cell phone number listed had a full voicemail box.

Billheimer is asking they maintain the property according to city code.

“They ought to live next door to houses like this,” she said.

Meanwhile, online records show three pages full of complaints about this house to the city and resulting inspections and fines. A city spokesperson said there isn’t much more they can do. While the house has been abandoned for three years, every time a new person or company takes over, the city’s file on the location starts over, too.

The city is obligated to give the new owner time to get the property into compliance. A city spokesperson wouldn’t go on camera with CBS4 but said over the phone that they’re also more than willing to give extensions to people in order to get properties cleaned up. The spokesperson said he knows it’s frustrating, but that it’s “due process.”

Indianapolis’ Department of Business and Neighborhood Services said that even if the weeds and fines continue to grow, it could be at least another year before the city clamps down on the Rockville Road house.

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