Mold-infested home with no clear owner a ‘serious’ health threat to neighbors

By Tom Perkins, http://www.mlive.com

mold houseOn any sunny, summer afternoon on Hawthorne Avenue in Ypsilanti Township, the unmistakable stench of mold and mildew wafts down the street.

 

That’s because a vacant house at 1070 Hawthorne is flooded with several feet of water and infested with mold, and officials say that’s a health threat to neighbors who have complained about issue at the property for several months.

 

At its June 17 meeting, the Board of Trustees formally approved township staff seeking a court order to bring the house up to code or to have it demolished.

 

In all likelihood, the home will soon be razed said Mike Radzik, director of the office of community standards.

 

“The basement has been flooded, it’s full of water, the stench can be smelled at the sidewalk and neighbors’ houses,” Radzik said. “We’ll be going after whichever bank we find owns it, but at this point we’re probably going for demolition because it’s so far gone that even Habitat for Humanity won’t want it.”

 

Who the township holds financially responsible for the probable demolition is unclear, Radzik said, because it isn’t known who holds the mortgage.

 

The original occupants were kicked out after foreclosing in January leading the the township to contact the owner of record, Columbus, OH-based US Bank National Association.

 

That bank said the mortgage was sold to Chase Bank, which assured the township it would send an agent to secure and clean the property.

 

But the house was left open and debris and junk littered the yard. The utilities were also left on for several months, causing a pipe to burst and the basement to flood. The continuously flowing water led to a $5,655 water bill for the property.

 

Chase Bank then told the township it no longer held the mortgage and didn’t know where it went.

 

“Meanwhile, neighbors continued to complain about a growing stench emanating from the house,” Radzik said. “It presents a serious health and safety threat to neighboring residents due to the unabated mold that is causing a strong stench to permeate the area.”

 

The home has been padlocked and township officials cleared the blight and junk from the yard. Radzik said he township would continue to seek the mortgage holder and bill the bank once they’re found, or place a lien on the property to recover the costs of cleaning the property, securing the home and the likely demolition. Read more

 

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Posted on August 18, 2014, in Environmental, Mold, Remediation/Renovation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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