Breaking News
More () »

One man’s trash is an entire neighborhood’s nightmare

Neighbors said the problem in City Heights started late last year and has gone from bad to worse - they also fear that animals are being neglected.

SAN DIEGO — Working for You update May 30, 2023:

Despite the eviction of tenants who hadn't paid rent in months, neighbors in City Heights are still struggling with the aftermath of their messy living conditions.

Residents of City Heights have been dealing with a nightmare neighbor for months. The house on Myrtle Avenue had trash all over the front yard and it was spilling onto the street. Garbage was even spotted on the roof. Last week, Sheriff’s deputies evicted the tenants who hadn't paid rent in months, but the problems for people living around the home didn't end there.

Ramon Quintero, a neighbor who lives next door, says the tenants are now squatting on the property and causing disturbances at all hours. "A lot of noise, a lot of mess," he told us in Spanish. He also says people come and go late at night, causing dogs in the neighborhood to bark – making it tough to sleep.

Crews were on the property over the weekend, cleaning up the trash and boarding up broken windows. The squatters were chased away, but once the clean-up crews left, the trouble returned.

The property is still littered with empty beer cans and signs of drug use, and there are mounds of trash. Neighbors say one of the squatters was seen using water and entering a shed on the property. Ramon says their living conditions have attracted rats and, with no bathrooms for the squatters to use, the area reeks of urine.

When CBS 8 talked to a property manager last week, she was hopeful that the eviction notice and securing the main house would get the tenants to leave. However, the management company has since reported that they are still struggling with the situation. They have agreed to either remove or board up the shed to prevent people from living in it, and they plan to shut off the water. They are also working with San Diego police, and one squatter has been arrested.

Neighbors are frustrated and worried about their safety. They hope this situation can be resolved in the near future.

Working for You update May 26, 2023:

Earlier this week, several concerned San Diegans reached out about a home on Myrtle Avenue in City Heights which was very literally trashing the neighborhood.

Once CBS 8's Steve Price saw it for himself, he immediately started Working for You. He called the city and an eviction notice was placed on the front door. He also spoke with the property manager who scheduled a cleanup crew to come out.  The cleanup is underway and this neighborhood is very close to getting a fresh start.

Original coverage May 23, 2023:

The front yard of a home on Myrtle Avenue in City Heights is covered with trash, and now it's spilling onto the street. Neighbors said the problem started late last year and has gone from bad to worse - they also fear that animals are being neglected.

"It's getting to the point where it's affecting the rest of the neighborhood, and we're not ok with that," said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. Like many who live on the street, she's scared of the home's residents. "The folks that live there go out and start yelling on the road and waving things that look like weapons around, and that's kind of nerve-wracking and unsettling.

She said kids are afraid to play on the street, and neighbors don't walk anywhere near the property. She also said that animals are constantly coming and going from the property, and she showed us what appeared to be bloody paw prints on the sidewalk. "There's a lot of dogs coming out of there that are limping," she said. "One already got hurt and got killed on the freeway." The home is less than a block from I-15.

Working for you, CBS 8 contacted the San Diego Humane Society. They told us they didn't know about the situation here but will now open an investigation. We also got the city. Both police and code enforcement officers showed up Tuesday to take a closer look.

Sheriff's deputies also arrived and posted an eviction notice on the front door – officially kicking the tenants out.

"We changed the locks and secured the back door and the front door," said Lourdes Burrell from the company recently hired to manage the property. She says the tenant hasn't paid rent in months, and they've been trying to kick him out but have had no luck. So she'sShe's hoping the eviction notice ends this nightmare once and for all.

She also says they have contacted a junk removal company and hope to have this cleaned up by the end of the week, but it's a massive project. Also on her to-do list - fixing broken windows to ensure no one else tries to get inside. CBS 8 will continue to monitor the situation out there and will have an update once it's all cleaned up.

WATCH RELATED: One man’s trash is an entire neighborhood’s nightmare 

Before You Leave, Check This Out