Neighbors contact Target 8 about nightmare next door in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For years, a Tampa couple watched the house next door deteriorate and disintegrate.

They contacted Code Enforcement about overgrowth and a gaping hole in the building.

When a weed-choked tree crushed their fence, they reached out to Target 8.

It sits in Seminole Heights, a neglected, abandoned, hole in the wall on Hillside Drive.

“A big hole in the front of the house,” said neighbor Sarah Hoagland. “It’s safety hazard. There are children that live on this street.”

Sarah and Craig Hoagland live right next door to a dilapidated domicile at 1712 Hillside Drive.

“There were squatters living there for around a year and it’s been approximately the past seven years that that home has been sitting vacant and slowly deteriorating,” explained Craig Hoagland.

While the Hoaglands work on their lawn, they find themselves fighting encroaching weeds from next door. Last week, one of their neighbor’s vine-choked trees collapsed onto their fence.

“Once the tree fell, that was, I was furious,” added Ms. Hoagland.

“We started complaining to the city about the overgrowth and lack of maintenance of the landscaping several years ago,” said Mr. Hoagland.

The hole is a foreclosure, a U.S. Bank blight.

Records show this shanty is well known to Tampa Code Enforcement.

The city slapped a civil citation on the property on Monday, charging it needs to be secured.

Target 8 shared with U.S. Bank’s Corporate office the news that the city deemed the open air chateau a threat to public health and safety.

“It’s just extremely frustrating,” added Sarah Hoagland.

Craig Hoagland claims he has contacted U.S. Bank, only to be told the property is not theirs.

“We’re not looking to be compensated for the hole in our fence, we just want the deterioration to stop,” explained Mr. Hoagland. “We want our property values to not be negatively affected by this house next door.”

Late Monday, we were told that the bank contacted the city and promised to clean up and secure the property. The city will wait 21 days for the bank to secure this little hole in the wall. After 21 days the city can go in, secure the place itself, send the bank a bill and file a lien against the property if Tampa taxpayers are not reimbursed.

This was a call that came in through our helpline.

If you have a problem that you think should be investigated, call our Target 8 Helpline at 1-800-338-0808. Contact Steve Andrews at sandrews@wfla.com.

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