Neighbors mad about rats at Temple Terrace ‘house of horrors’

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (WFLA) – Neighbors say enough is enough – the home they describe as “a house of horrors” has got to go.

That’s how angry and concerned homeowners in an upscale Tampa Bay neighborhood describe a home on their block. The only tenants in the house right now are rats, and lots of them.

A roof that sags and sinks deeper by the day is the first thing you see when you look at 1113 N. River Hills Dr. in Temple Terrace. Then, there’s the thick grass that seems to swallow the property.

The folks who live next-door are frustrated and disgusted.

Bill Coneglio tells 8 on Your Side, “It would be really good on Halloween. It would be a great house of horrors.”

He’s not the only one who thinks that way.

“It looks like something out of a movie set, like a horror movie. It really does,” said Susan Drenberg, who lives nearby.

There’s been no water, no electricity and no sewage for five years, according to neighbors. The rodents have been running so rampant that Coneglio tells 8 On Your Side rats of crawled into his home next door, defecating and dying in his air-conditioning unit.

“I just want it fixed. I want to hold people accountable,” he said.

Drenberg added, “It’s just gotten worse and worse and worse, and now it’s boarded up.”

Both Drenberg and Coneglio attended a Temple Terrace city council meeting on Tuesday night. They are pleased to see that the home now has a placard placed in front, clearly posted on the house showing that the property has been condemned.

8 on Your Side reached out to the homeowner numerous times via the cell phone number seen on a sign in front of his home. The number goes straight to an automated voicemail saying, “At the subscriber’s request, this phone does not accept incoming calls.”

We also approached Temple Terrace city leaders for comment. They admit that they, too, are frustrated. While the city manager and a city council member would not go on camera, they did assure 8 on Your Side that they are doing everything they can, and they’re doing it by the book.

In fact, they tell us they’ve also had problems finding the homeowner during this process.

At this point, it looks like neighbors are facing a 60-day timeline – 30 days for the homeowner to appeal, and if he doesn’t, another 30 for the demolition.

“They need to stop, step up and do something about,” said Doug Drenberg.

While numerous people have driven by an offer to purchase the home, neighbors tell 8 On Your Side that the homeowner has refused every time.

The price tag, as well as information regarding the home, is listed on Zillow.com at just over $350,000.

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