Police evict tenants from unlivable house
Reviews of abandoned cars, unmowed grass, and dilapidated properties are regular topics for police chief Bruce Burke at city council meetings, but he took some extra time Monday for a property where he instructed the tenants to move out.
“I’m going to pass around a file I’ve started on ordinance violations,” Burke said. “There’s about four pictures behind there that for those with strong stomachs are happy to view them.”
Burke posted an eviction notice at a rental property at 215 E. Division St. on Nov. 20. County records indicate the property is owned by Monica Farrar.
“A sewer is clogged and is not working, and the toilet is full of feces,” Burke said. “There’s a jar on the lid of the toilet tank that they use to dip the feces out of the bowl, and the furnace is not working. The tenant reported the roof leaks … and there are two broken windows that have never been fixed in this home since they’ve been in there.”
Burke said the city sewer line is clear, confirming that the plumbing issue is the homeowner’s.
In addition to unlivable conditions, Burke said police have made several calls to the residence in recent weeks, including ones for alleged disorderly conduct and alleged battery.
“Some of them have turned criminal and we’re putting them through court,” he said.
Farrar has been made aware of the conditions, Burke said.
“She’s tried to show up there a couple of times and it’s been kind of a harassing situation for the tenant there,” he said. “The tenant has now filed a protection from stalking order against her as well.”
Farrar gave the tenants an eviction notice, which Burke said is unenforceable by police without going through court proceedings.
The tenants appeared to be moving out Monday, but some others are prepared to move in, Burke said. He doesn’t want to allow that.
“I tracked down who might be the new tenants and I informed them … it’s going to be my recommendation that no one be allowed to live in this home until these issues are fixed,” he said.
Council member Rick Reynolds mentioned fair housing regulations and suggested the city attorney be consulted. He also had an idea why the landlord hadn’t fixed the problems Burke cited.
“I can tell you the owner refused to fix anything until they get out because they won’t pay,” Reynolds said.
“I kind of figured that was the crux of the problem,” Burke said.
If the property owner objects to the list of violations, she can request a hearing at the next city council meeting, Burke said.
In other business:
- Peabody-Burns superintendent Ron Traxson presented several possible repair and improvement projects around the schools involving sidewalks and streets. He asked council members to consider the projects and prioritize what they might do so that the district can start budgeting for its share of them.
- Burke asked the lighting committee to consider putting a street light at 8th and Plum Sts., and noted lighting issues in several other areas.
- James Taylor was introduced as Peabody’s newest police officer.
Last modified Nov. 30, 2017