by: Liz Artz Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. - A local man claims nearly five dozen houses in his southwest Atlanta neighborhood are driving down property values.
He says code enforcement has ignored the rundown homes for years.
Smith told Channel 2's Liz Artz that 54 out of 1,200 homes in his Westview neighborhood have some sort of code violation.
His neighbor's house, he says, caught fire two years ago and still sits boarded up and burned out. Smith says housing code allows for a home to be boarded up for six months, and then repairs must be made.
Smith has hired an attorney and sent a demand letter to the city of Atlanta with his intent to sue if the city doesn't enforce violations and get homeowners in compliance.
He told Artz that it's sad when a private citizen has to spend $20,000 to $30,000 to get the city to do something that is core and central to their job.
Artz contacted the city of Atlanta's law department spokesperson, who said once they receive the letter, they will respond, open a file and start investigating the complaint.
The city could not tell Artz by close of day Friday where it was in the process with Smith's demand letter. He says the letter went out in July, but he says he has not received a response from Atlanta yet.