EUCLID, Ohio - It's the nuisance property with nine lives. A home is still standing after nearly burning to the ground, being condemned and finding itself in the cross-hairs of demolition twice.
Friday afternoon, the back door to the vacant home was wide open for anyone to go inside. Neighbors tell News 5 the property has been a problem for four years, and their fight to get the city to take action is falling short.
"We're going to stay on top of him, we're gonna put him on a tight timeline, we're gonna make sure this gets done," said Brad Hackney.
Those are just some of the empty promises Hackney said he has been getting from city leaders in Euclid.
"I don't understand why they're not doing what they're saying they're going to do, it's still like this," said Hackney.
The house next to his on Lakeshore Blvd. went up in flames back in 2014.
Since then, the city has tried to tear down the now gutted, abandoned home twice.
"That house doesn't belong here, it's terrible," said Hackney.
The owner, each time, promising to make repairs.
"It's constantly nothing gets done," said Hackney.
So why the lengthy delay?
City officials told News 5 that the owner, Scott Barich of 20/20 Rehab, LLC is taking advantage of due process.
"There's been so many extensions, nothing has been done," Patrick Delaney.
Delaney is a former Euclid city councilman.
"It really has affected a great deal of people around that house," said Delaney.
Delaney said this blight battle reveals a complete system breakdown.
"They failed at every turn to enforce the law and get resolve for that situation,” said Delaney.
When we notified the law director that the back door to a vacant home was wide open, and the danger it posed, we were told city workers would not step foot on the property to secure it due to fear the owner would charge them with trespassing.
"You have a law director in the city the size of Euclid that's apprehensive about the threat coming from a bad actor who is a landlord," said Delaney.
That law director, Kelly Sweeney, said the city is just as frustrated with the lack of progress and that the owner failed to meet another renovation deadline at the end of March.
"That's a sad commentary because the laws are in place and they work. They work with other people. Why aren't they working with these," Delaney said.
Meantime, neighbors like Hackney, who have gone as far as to hire their attorney, feel helpless up against Barich.
“He obviously knows the system and he's working it the best he can to get away with what he can. He pulls a permit or two, acts like he's gonna do something and he doesn't do anything," said Hackney.
Barich told News 5 the work on his home has been delayed because he is waiting on the city to extend his building permits.
The law director disputes that claim, saying he just turned in the paperwork for an extension in February.