The owner of a derelict South Surrey home has until the end of today (Friday, March 31) to clean up their property, or face a bill from the City of Surrey for the task.
Officials with the city’s corporate services department confirmed that neighbours have lodged complaints about the condition of the 15A Avenue lot, “and we are actively working with the owner to clean up the property.”
The same family has been living at the home for decades, according to neighbours.
“It’s been going on for years,” said Kevin Savage, who has lived across the street for 30 years.
Sharon Darlington lives next door to the home. She believes the close proximity has impacted her health.
“It all started because of the smell. We can smell (the mould) so much and I have asthma. I can’t be out there without a respirator in my own yard.
“It’s only going to get worse as the weather warms up,” she said. “The house is like an incubator at this point.”
The city’s bylaw department has a file open, and city crews “will step in and initiate a clean-up if compliance is not achieved by March 31, 2023,” a spokesperson told Peace Arch News by email.
If it comes to that, the owner will be billed for the cost, the spokesperson added.
The property is located at the corner of 15A Avenue and 132 Street. The lot is heavily treed and the home’s exterior is littered with all manner of household debris – including clothing, garbage and more.
Neighbours say the city has taken steps to clean up the property in previous years.
“They did it before, (a few) years ago, maybe. They came and the city cleaned up the yard,” Savage said.
“When we first moved here, you could definitely see the house. The trees, I joked about cutting down for a Christmas tree, that’s how small they were. They were beautiful, but they’ve really grown.”
Another neighbour, who is the Block Watch captain for the neighbourhood, said she has heard “tons” of complaints about the home for years.
A city spokesperson confirmed the municipality conducted a clean-up at the property five years ago, adding they are giving the owner the opportunity to meet the deadline before taking official action or commenting further.
A for-sale sign was erected at the property Wednesday (March 29) evening.
Jonathan Katronis, with Katronis Real Estate Team, confirmed the property is expected to come on the market in the next day or two. He could not comment further, citing privacy, but did say that in the current housing market, he suspects the property will sell “pretty quick, but you never know.”
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