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Neighbors embarrassed by abandoned Henrico home: ‘It looks horrible’

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Neighbors in a Highland Springs neighborhood contacted CBS 6 Problem Solvers after they say they have been complaining to Henrico County about the poor conditions of an abandoned home for years.

Priscilla Mabry is one of the neighbors who are frustrated by the run down property.

“I’m embarrassed to even be on the block,” said Mabry. “Some communities are OK with that, some communities are not. I’m happy that someone took the time to call it in because that’s ridiculous.”

When you walk by you can see trash and debris littered in the yard, broken windows, and holes in the front of the brick home.

Mabry said that rodents are constantly crawling around and even snakes are slithering on neighboring properties.

“It’s basically scary for the kids on the block. Some of the kids don’t even go that way. They stay in this area because of the house down the block,” she said.

Neighbors contacted CBS 6 Problem Solvers asking us to take their concerns again to Henrico County. They acknowledged the county has come out on occasion to cut the grass, but to them it’s not enough.

“It’s an eyesore for our neighborhood,” said neighbor Rylanda Thornton. “We are trying to keep our properties up... We have kids who play in the neighborhood and we’d just like the county to do something about it.

Thornton who lives nearby says she just doesn’t want the abandoned home to draw the attention of criminals.

“It can bring outsiders who are doing activities that we don’t want in our community. It’s not a good look,” she added.

Thornton and Mabry both hope more neighbors will join in and urge the county to take another step to help them clean up the eyesore on their block.

“I pay my taxes. I’ve been living in Henrico for 40 plus years. I’d prefer my taxes go to knocking this property down, clear the land, get all the trash up and bill the owners.”

A Henrico County spokesperson tells CBS 6 that they are well aware of the problem and they have logged five complaints concerning it in the past seven years.

The spokesperson said the problem is they haven’t been able to locate the property owner. CBS 6 found that the property was last sold 43 years ago in 1974

Officials said they will now send inspectors to the home in the next few days to figure out what the next step will be.

Home deemed unsafe

Inspectors came to review the property on Tuesday and have deemed the structure as unsafe.

There is now a letter posted on the door and a flyer warning people not to go into the unsafe home.

Neighbors like Larry Rock say it's good to see things moving in the right direction.

“Something just needed to be done,” he said. “Either close it up or I'm not saying tear it down, but something needs to have been done to keep up with the rest of the properties in the neighborhood.”

This week county officials told CBs 6 Problem Solvers that in recent years they have been unable to locate the owners of this property. In the past five years the county has paid contractors to come out and keep the grass cut.

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.