ATLANTA — Neighbors say a Buckhead home that sold for nearly $850,000 over the summer has been taken over by squatters.
They told Channel 2’s Carl Willis the property is trashy, troubling and possibly dangerous.
This once stately home was built in 1940 but neighbors say it’s crumbling before their eyes.
“We actually walked to the house and were horrified because the whole back was broken out,” one neighbor told Willis.
They fear the house on Lenox Road is being taken over by a group of squatters
After listening to neighbors’ concerns, Willis went to the home to check things out.
That’s where he met Anthony Smith, who told Willis he’s lived inside the home for six months.
“You don’t own this home?” Willis asked Smith.
“Not at the time. I was looking to see if anyone had purchased it,” Smith told him.
There doesn’t appear to be electricity in the house and some windows are boarded while others are broken out.
Smith claims that this home once belonged to a relative by the name of Mary Wheeler.
“I think it was my second cousin twice removed,” Smith said.
But when Willis talked to the executor of Wheeler’s estate she told Willis she’s never heard of Smith and no one should be living in the house.
“Some of the residents think you’re squatting in the house. What do you say to that?” Willis asked Smith.
“No sir. I’m trying to get it straightened up. I would like to open a bed and breakfast here,” Smith said.
Smith started cleaning up after Willis spoke with him. But neighbors say the trash and bottles, overgrown grass and the deteriorating structure are overwhelming.
They claim they’ve called the police and the city, but no one has kicked out the new residents.
Neighbors say if it can happen there it could happen in other neighborhoods.
“We cannot believe how many people are coming in and out of here,” another neighbor told Willis.
Willis dug up the property records and found that the Wheeler estate sold the home to a company in February 2014.
The home was sold yet again to Brookhaven Enterprises earlier this year.
Neighbors hope their concerns will be heard.