Abandoned home on Stockbridge lake

It's been four years since Bess Fogle, her two children Bea and Kaleb moved to their dream home on Swan Lake. But from day one this neighboring home has sat empty.

Public records show it's been abandoned for more than a decade.

"I wish that something could be done, whether it's torn down or they could do it with the firemen, have a burn with it," said Bess Fogle.

FOX 5 reporter George Franco went to the abandoned homeowner’s house in nearby Rex. No one answered at the door.

Henry County's Code Enforcement Director Arthur Weems says his hands are legally tied since the bills are being paid.

"The property taxes on this house were $1,500 last year and $1,400 the year before and it's currently paid," said Arthur Weems.

Weems said the owner built the house more than a decade ago but failed to install a septic tank. Since the home meets safety standards it won't be torn down. And since the county doesn't have a graffiti ordinance he'll approach removing graffiti of the walls from a different angle.

"Write the complaint correction notice asking them to take care of the nuisance. Will you do that? I will," said Weems.

Pam Caisson said she and her husband plan to retire at their lake home. But their American dream sits across the lake from the abandoned home.

"This is where I want to stay until I'm no longer able to stay. When I look up that's what I have to see. They should either finish it or tear it down," said Pam Caisson.

The county said the homeowner did pay fines in connection to overgrown grass which has been torn down. 

The Code Enforcement Director said residents around the lake could file a lawsuit to force the owner to take action.

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