The vacant house next door on Lakewood Street has been bothering 80-year-old Suitland resident Lilla Smith for more than a year. But lately, she says, it’s gotten out of hand.
“This is the worst it’s been,” she insists.
The house is a Bank of American-owned foreclosure, and it’s been empty for nearly two years now. Smith says that for a while, the bank has had somebody cut the grass.
“It just seems whoever was doing it just quit because they haven’t been here in I don’t know when,” says Smith.
Bank of America says they can't explain how it's gotten so out of control, but they have talked to the contractor and explained that it will not happen again. They promise the property will be properly maintained from now on.
Such neglect is a widespread problem in Prince George’s County. Thousands of homes are in foreclosure, and just one block away sits another with a wild, overgrown lawn. County enforcers say they get more than 20 complaints a day.
In response to Mrs. Smith’s emails, an inspector last week slapped a clean-up order on the vacant home. On Wednesday, after an ABC7 inquiry, a Prince George's County crew finally showed up to whack down that overgrown yard.