Southside Houston home's lawn still overgrown 11 months after neighbors alerted city

Luke Jones Image
Friday, June 14, 2024
Neighbors say vacant home is causing problems in SE Houston
Neighbors in a southside community said they've been waiting for almost a year for the city to take action on a vacant home with an overgrown yard.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After almost a year, homeowners in a southside neighborhood are still waiting for an abandoned house to be cleaned up.

"We keep our houses up. We take pride in our homes," Brandon Smith, who bought a home on Mount Pleasant Street in late 2022, said.

But throughout Smith's time living on Mount Pleasant, he said the house next door has been a problem.

The home's windows are boarded up. No one lives there, and no one mows the lawn.

"Last time it was cut? Shoot. I don't even know. I can't even tell you," Craig Jones, who also lives on Mount Pleasant, said.

Even though it's not his responsibility, Smith said he's had his landscaper trim some of the weeds as poison ivy from the adjoining yard begins to invade his fence line. But he said he's no longer able to keep up.

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"It's just gotten so out of control. I don't even think I could afford to get someone to mow it at this point," Smith said.

Eyewitness News went to the property owner's listed address, which also appears to be an abandoned house. Property records show the owner owes $17,000 in back taxes on the house.

Smith showed Eyewitness News his emails to the city dating back to July 2023. In January, the city posted a violation notice at the home.

A city spokesperson told Eyewitness News the home's most recent inspection was May 15, and the owner was once again notified of the code violations.

"People go behind the house to use the restroom. There's rodents back there. Stray animals go back there," Smith said.

After Eyewitness News emailed the city on Thursday, a spokesperson said a city contractor would go out within two weeks to mow the grass.

The city said it will then put a lien on the house to recoup the cost. But for every day it takes, homeowners say it comes at great cost to the South Union neighborhood.

"Makes it seem like it's a bad neighborhood," Jones said.

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