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Temple neighbors help clean up trash left on lawn of vacant home for days

There is no word on who lived at the home or who owned the property. Who's responsibility was it to clean up the mess?

TEMPLE, Texas — People in a Temple neighborhood have been getting vocal about a mess in front of a vacant home that many were calling an eyesore.

A home on the corner of the busy Thorntorn Lane and Brykerwood Road intersection had trash, personal belongings and even mattresses spread across the lawn for at least five days.

Three neighbors in the area were tired of seeing the mess every day, so they cleaned it up themselves. 

"My daughter and I passed by it a few times and I told my daughter that it was time to pick it up," Temple resident Nicole Armour shared.

These clean up efforts were not at all planned. One person saw another person cleaning up, then that person saw another doing the same, and it became a team effort.

"I came to the home and saw a man cleaning up the home with a woman before I came, so they're more selfless than me," Temple resident Jordan Miller explained.

It took them about three hours to removed all items from the yard. There is no word on if this is a result of an eviction or foreclosure from the landlord.

While they live in the neighborhood, this is not something they had to do, the City of Temple said.

Temple Public Relations Specialist Allison O'Connor says the City of Temple isn't responsible either and this falls directly on the landlord.

"Technically, when it comes to private property, it is not the city's responsibility to pick up any trash or belongings that's left on that private property," O'Connor said.

She also mentioned the best thing to do in case any other Temple residents see any mess like this in their neighborhood or around town. 

"For future reference for any of our residents, please don't hesitate to call code enforcement and just let us know what's going on and we will get out there and you know survey the area," 

When code enforcement is called, Texas law states that there has to be a reasonable amount of time for the tenant to receive their belongings. this could be anywhere from 24-72 hours. 

Once that time period passes and things are still on the home property, code enforcement will then assess the situation without stepping on the property because of legal restrictions. If there is a nuisance, the owner of the property then has 10 business days to remove the items on the property before code enforcement can take it to the courts to decide what to do with the items on the private property. 

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