Neighbor’s Yard is a Mess

(WSVN) - Her yard looks nice, but her neighbor’s yard is full of cars, an RV, a boat and a few rats, but when she complained, the city didn’t help. It’s tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Eighteen years ago, Barbara battled cancer. She won that round, but now cancer has returned to pick another fight.

Barbara Cintron, neighbor’s yard is a mess: “They don’t tell you it comes back, but it does, and it came back stronger.”

This time, instead of chemotherapy, Barbara has chosen a new weapon.

Barbara Cintron: “She said, ‘You need to eat naturally. Spinach. Carrots. Beets! Kale. And most of the cancer is gone already.”

Her cancer is under control, but her stress level is soaring because of this…

Barbara Cintron: “My next-door neighbor is a hoarder, and he brings garbage to his house. He collects junk, and he puts it all in the back yard.”

A back yard that can’t remember the last time it was cleaned up — home to a wide variety of things from a boat to an old Jet Ski to an RV.

Barbara Cintron: “After Hurricane Andrew, he bought that, and it’s been sitting there for years.”

These things just sit and rot. Other things slither and roam.

Barbara Cintron: “Rats. The rats. Completely a lot of rats, and snakes — I get a lot of snakes in my yard. I got three dead rats in my front door. That’s pretty disgusting.”

Her neighbor also has cars. Four in the front yard joined by a storage pod. Barbara has complained to Cutler Bay Code Enforcement a lot.

Barbara Cintron: “They already know me. ‘Yes, Ms. Cintron, we are taking care of it. We have to do it by legal means.’ Blah, blah, blah, that’s all I get.”

Barbara says she knows how to beat cancer.

This, though, has her whipped.

Barbara Cintron: “It does stress me out. I’m the one that has to bury those rats or throw them in the trash can.”

Well Howard, what can Barbara do?

Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal expert: “In most cities and counties, they have ordinances that require homeowners to maintain their properties in a certain way. In most places, that would take care of Barbara’s problem, but in Cutler Bay, their laws do not go far enough, allowing what Barbara calls her nightmare to continue.”

We spoke to Cutler Bay about this property, and most of the things that drive Barbara crazy are OK with the city.

We were told the RV in the back is not illegal, and there was no limit to the number of cars you could park in your yard as long as they were not on the sidewalk.

The city did cite the owner for the storage pod. It’s been removed.

We called FPL about the trees since they were hitting the power lines. They came and trimmed them back.

We also talked to the owner of the property.

He does not believe these vehicles are junk. He said they just need to be fixed up, but he doesn’t have the money to do it.

As for the rats, he doesn’t know why Barbara has them because he says he doesn’t have any rodents.

Howard Finkelstein: “If the city cannot resolve the problem, then you have to sue in circuit court, which requires an attorney. A long shot? Call the health department about the rats. Sometimes they can force the owner to clean up the property.”

Her neighbor thinks his yard is fine. Barbara thinks no one cares.

Barbara Cintron: “I feel frustrated. I get frustrated. I really do. I’m very frustrated.”

It won’t help Barbara, but this is a case where an association might be able to force the homeowner to clean up his property. Barbara doesn’t have an association. At every turn, she hits a dead end.

Getting treatment that’s left you feeling trashed? Don’t say, “Oh, rats.” Contact us because we try to hoard legal solutions to cure your problems.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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