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Seminole Heights woman complains about abandoned home

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Abandoned Seminole Heights home worries neighbor. Abandoned Seminole Heights home worries neighbor.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

LaTanya Welch bought her first home in Seminole Heights six years ago. But the abandoned home next door is making her miserable.

Weeds have grown so tall that they cover her security camera. An unruly tree hangs over her roof, and she fears it will fall on her house.

Welch says the homeless sometimes use this home as a hangout, and she worries about her two young grandchildren.

"I have little kids at my house, my grand kids, they play is this area," Welch said. "But if homeless people are here in this area, how can they just come out here and play and be safe?"

Welch also worries about her home value and says she's complained several times over the years to code enforcement but the condition of the house has only gotten worse.

Last week, she says, the city stuck a sicker on the door, warning that the home is vacant and that the mortgage holder would be notified, but the doors remained unlocked.

So Welch called 8-on-your-side for help.

Sal Ruggiero, a manager in the city's code enforcement department, said the city has notified the property owner and will follow up to make sure the house is secured. Ruggiero visited the home himself and said something needs to be done.

"We understand that houses in this type of condition bring down the whole neighborhood and quality of life," Ruggiero said.

8-on-your-side found a court document that shows the house was taken back in foreclosure in August. The lender is Ameribank. Ruggiero said his department will follow up with the bank and hold them accountable.

"We won't just let this go if it's owned by a bank now," he said. "We will hold them accountable, too.

Related Story: Davis Islands abandoned mansion slated for demolition, owner appealing
 
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