Atlanta threatens citations for woman who found home was demolished during vacation

The Atlanta woman who came home from vacation to find an older home on her property demolished without her permission is facing new troubles.

FOX 5 first reported on Susan Hodgson, who found that her home was demolished accidentally by a construction company in early October.

Hodgson recently visited the property to find a notice from the city of Atlanta threatening to issue citations because of the mess and for not filing the proper permits for the structure's demolition. 

"Anybody I can think of I have just been reaching out. Everyone wants to play ball, but nobody wants to show up," Susan Hodgson said. 

Hodgson says the company that tore down the home claimed they had the wrong address.

The story made headlines across the country, and some criticized her because the house was older.

"I get what they are saying. I get that the house was boarded up and people probably would love to have it down. That's fine, but he didn't have permission to do it. That's the problem," Hodgson said. 

A new problem emerges from the ruins.

"Usually, on trash day, I walk around the lot and clean up the yard ,and this bright yellow sign was in the middle of my backyard, and I noticed it said 'Stop Work Order, '" Hodgson said. "It said I had until the 16th to fix it, clean it up, and get it all done, and have the proper permits." 

Hodgson says she's been trying to get in contact with the city to explain. 

"The house, it was a fun place. We always had a lot of good times here," Hodgson said. 

Emotions flood in as it's a reminder of her husband who died years ago. 

"It does very much so because he's gone and none this is gone," Hodgson said. 

She's stuck with a mess.

"It's still just like, ‘Yes, they tore it down’ and they 'did me a favor,' but this is what I got. This is what I got. This is the 'favor' that they gave me," Hodgson said. 

FOX 5 has reached out to Atlanta's Department of City Planning. Officials issued the following statement:

"The Department of City Planning, Office of Buildings issued a Notice of Correction on the property on November 2, 2023, with a correction end date of November 16, 2023. The correction notice affords the property owner the opportunity to bring the property into compliance. No citation has been issued to date. The structure on the property was demolished without a permit which is a violation of city code. The property owner is responsible for their property and for any violations that occur pertaining to that property.

"The demolition of the property without the owner’s consent or knowledge is not a matter for the City of Atlanta. This is considered a civil matter between the property owner and the alleged responsible party."