Some east side neighbors are relieved after days of danger and worry, related to an eviction case.
The drama started Monday on the 700 block of Gulf Street, when the owner of a rental property forcibly reclaimed his house.
Pictures taken by neighbors show a constable stood by while all of the worldly goods of a tenant family were removed from the house and placed in the front yard.
A neighbor who posted pictures on Facebook wrote that, almost immediately, a free-for-all began with scavengers ripping into boxes and bags and taking anything of value.
What wasn’t stolen outright was ruined by the ensuing rain that fell this week.
The Facebook post reads:
“This homeowner is very inconsiderate to neighbors who get to deal with the stray dogs dragging it on streets, wind and rain, and the overall sight of it! It is a shame that this owner can let a property look this deplorable, and have no consequences.”
Thursday morning, a KENS 5 crew recorded video of children stomping by on their way to school to pick through the remains and jump and play on the abandoned furniture.
Court records indicate that the property owner obtained an order allowing the tenant to be evicted on October 27. The owner told KENS 5 that the tenant was given extra time to move, but that never happened.
The owner said that he followed the law and left the tenant's belongings outside where the goods could be reclaimed.
After neighbors complained to the city’s code compliance division, a violation notice was posted on the door on the house, but a spokesman said that immediate action was not possible because the law gives tenants time to reclaim their property.
As the clock continued to tick toward that deadline, vandals and scavengers continued to pick away at the messy pile.
On Thursday, the owner of the property said that the deadline for the tenant to reclaim their goods expired and he sent a cleanup crew to remove the debris.
By day’s end, the rubble had been reduced to one mattress leaning against the side of the house.
Passersby expressed relief that the mess had been cleaned up, but were sad for the family that lost almost everything they own.
Meanwhile, the property owner said that among unpaid rent, damage to home, eviction court costs and cleanup fees, he has lost thousands of dollars as well.