The town of Newcastle has told a local landlord she cannot continue to rent her 567 River Rd. house because the property is not safe. The landlord has
disputed the town’s findings. (J.W. Oliver photo)
Buy this photo
By J.W. Oliver
The town of Newcastle has told a local landlord she cannot continue to rent her 567 River Rd. house because the property is not safe.
The landlord, meanwhile, said the house is safe and blamed the issue on a disgruntled tenant.
Newcastle Code Enforcement Officer Stan Waltz, in an April 17 letter to Michelle Van Abshoven, said the property “is in a state of disrepair and considered unsafe.”
“Until the building is brought back up to code and all outstanding issues are repaired, no one can further occupy the premises,” Waltz said.
The tenants “need to move out,” Waltz said.
Van Abshoven disputed the town’s claims in a brief phone interview April 29. “There is nothing unsafe about that house,” she said.
Waltz’s letter details some of the issues at the property. The oil company cannot fill the oil tank because it is “unstable” and does not comply with minimum state requirements,
“The building has some water leaks and a host of other problems that need to be addressed,” Waltz told Van Abshoven. “Due to the fact that these are not the current renter’s
fault, you will need to return their security deposit and last month’s rent.”
The letter invited Van Abshoven, of Alna, to contact Waltz to arrange an on-site meeting to review the problems with the house.
The house “is in real hard shape,” Waltz said in an April 29 phone interview. “There’s water leaking everywhere.” The building also has mold issues, he said.
He has not heard back from Van Abshoven, he said.
The current tenant reported the issues with the house, Waltz said. The tenant will have another place to stay by May 1.
Van Abshoven said she has not received a letter from Waltz. She has had a roofer at the house to fix “a little leak” in the roof, she said. “There is no mold in that house.”
She said her usual oil vendor does not have an issue with the oil tank. The tenant switched to another vendor, which would not deliver oil due to a minor issue with the tank.
“It’s the same way the oil tank is at my house,” she said. “It’s been that way for 20 years.” The tenants “are just trying to give me a problem, that’s all,” she said.