Home Condemned With City’s New Power

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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Walk into the house on 903 Browns Ferry Road and you’ll see a home no one wants in their neighborhood. There is black mold everywhere. The roof structure is starting to collapse. There’s a window that’s been open since April. Because there’s no glass, rain has been allowed to come in freely.

Until recently, the city of Athens had no power to deal with homes like this. The city council passed an ordinance last year that allows the city to condemn and tear down a home after every effort has been made to find the owner. Monday night , the council condemned this home, the first under the new ordinance.

It’s not an easy process to try and find the owner. According to building inspector Erik Waddell, “We go through and do a title search. We come up with a list of possible heirs or anyone who has interest in the property. Then we have to notify those individuals. In this case it was 14 different people.”

If no one comes forward, the city can now condemn and tear down properties like this one, considered an eye sore, dangerous, and abandoned.

It will cost the city 5-6 thousand dollars to tear down this property, with the money coming from the city’s general fund.

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