1658 Carll St., Fairmount

Address: 1658 Carll St., FairmountOwner: Leo DeSouzaValue: $30,300, according to the Hamilton County Auditor's OfficeYear Built: 1915Comments: This is no longer the beautiful house

Jymi Bolden

Address: 1658 Carll St., Fairmount

Owner: Leo DeSouza

Value: $30,300, according to the Hamilton County Auditor's Office

Year Built: 1915

Comments: This is no longer the beautiful house shown on the Hamilton County Auditor's Web site. The property has been vacant for a long time, according to a building inspector for the city of Cincinnati. The front windows, including those on the door, have recently been boarded up.

Leo DeSouza, who bought the property in 1988, says residents in the neighborhood are to blame.

"The people in the neighborhood have become more aggressive," he says. "The drug dealers have taken an interest in destroying it."

DeSouza says he's spent $10,000 on the building and started renting the property two years ago.

"I rented this property out for $350 a month, including utilities," he says. "The last tenant had six babies, and I felt sorry for her."

The tenant left junk everywhere, a $698 water bill and owes $2,800 in rent, DeSouza says.

"Something should be done to non-rent payers," he says. "People should have respect for themselves and others."

DeSouza says he plans to refurbish the property this summer in the hope of selling it, although he wonders if he can find a buyer, given the climate of the neighborhood.

"I would consider renting again if I can find some respectful citizens," he says.

BLIGHT OF THE WEEK is an effort to highlight the problem of abandoned buildings — and who's responsible for them.

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