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WASTE WATCH: Holding Landlords Accountable for Problem Properties

COLUMBUS (Brooks Jarosz) The City of Columbus is planning on holding landlords accountable by cracking down on problem properties.

ABC 6 Investigators first exposed this growing problem in October. We uncovered $700,000 of taxpayer dollars spent on just keeping the more than 6,000 vacant homes cleaned up.

City leaders say more than 20 thousand complaints keep them busy each year. 

"We're not very proactive," Code Enforcement Administrator Dana Rose said.

Keeping an eye on these eyesores hurts as home values decline and crime rates rise in certain neighborhoods, according to relator and community leader Lucy Wolfe.

"It's a deterrent from purchasing properties, Lucy Wolfe said. I've seen it too many times."

Landlord accountability becomes a tangled web, especially when owners go AWOL. However, now community members are sounding offing calling for code changes, pushing for stiffer penalties and begging for a bump up in the time repeat offenders spend behind bars. Its a debate sparked by frustration.

"It's not only irresponsibility -- it's thumbing their nose at the city and thumbing their nose at the people who have to look at this problem, Wolfe said.

ABC 6 Investigators take you inside Columbus City Council in search of solutions to a rapidly rising number of problem properties.

We will breakdown the effect this has had in your neighborhood and what the city is doing to curb this mess of abandoned homes.
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