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City deems house uninhabitable after News4 investigates neighbors’ frustration with ‘abandoned’ property

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nearly a week after News4 Investigates examined neighbors’ complaints that Metro Codes had not taken action on a dilapidated house with visible rodents, inspectors levied a violation against the owner and deemed it uninhabitable.

The house sits at the end of Holly Street, which was ravaged by the 2020 tornado.

Neighbors, many of whom are rebuilding, said no one had lived at the home for years and have not been able to get an answer from the owner as to what he intends to do with the property.

After saying she and other neighbors filed complaints with Metro Codes only to have no response, Kim VanDusen said she hoped to get help from News4 Investigates.

“This has been going on for a year, and nothing has been done,” said VanDusen. “The say after the story aired, (Metro Codes) issued a complaint.

Records show Metro Codes fined the property for improper storage in a collapsed building and deemed the home uninhabitable.

Emily Lamb, assistant director of Metro Codes, said a year after the tornado they are still getting demolition complaints from property owners.

Having not received such a request for the Holly Street locations, inspectors cited the property on the day the News4 story aired.

Deeming the house “uninhabitable” now allows for the property to be demolished, should the property owner not reply.

While Lamb said they have not been able to get a response from the owner yet, they will attempt to resolve the complaint.

If not, Lamb said they will take the complaint to the city’s environmental court, which has been closed since last year.

“Courts will open next month and they will start working through the backlog,” said Lamb.

“I’m really happy that the city finally listened to us,” said VanDusen.

The owner has not returned several calls from News4 Investigates.


Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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