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HomeNewsAtlanta Company Fines Woman After Demolishing Her Home

Atlanta Company Fines Woman After Demolishing Her Home

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In a stunning twist of events, a woman from Atlanta, Georgia, returned from vacation to discover her home had been entirely demolished. 

A demolished house
Source: Анна Ерилина /Pexels

Almost two months later, the city of Atlanta issued her a notice. It stated she was being fined for failing to file the necessary paperwork for a demolition she never requested.

Receiving a Strange Phone Call on Vacation

Reportedly, Susan Hodgson was on vacation when she got a call from her neighbor. The neighbor inquired if she had hired someone to demolish her home, citing its disuse for over a decade. Hodgson vehemently denied any such arrangement.

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A woman on a call
Source: Andrea Piacquadio/X

Later, Hodgson informed the press that her neighbor went to confront the team demolishing her friend’s house. She said they rudely told her to “shut up and mind her own business.”

The House Hadn’t Been Used in 15 Years

It’s crucial to mention that none of Hodgson’s personal belongings were inside the home when it was demolished. She hadn’t used the house in 15 years.

A black-handled-key-on-key-hole
Source: PhotoMIX Company/ Pexels

She clarified to the press that although the house was completely boarded up, this didn’t mean she intended to remove the entire structure.

ALSO READ: Atlanta Residents Lament Properties Being Overrun by Squatters

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Hodgson Kept Good Care of the Unused Home

Hodgson also informed the media that she ensured the grass was regularly cut and the yard remained free of trash or debris to maintain her neighbors’ satisfaction.

A person-standing-outside-the-house
Source: Rodolfo Quirós/Pexels

The homeowner also confirmed that all taxes on the home had been paid. So, although it was technically boarded up, it was not abandoned.

How Does a Mistake Like This Get Made?

Upon returning from her vacation, Hodgson promptly informed the local police that a company named “You Call It We Haul It” had demolished her home without authorization.

A van
Source: @YouCallItWeHaulIt/Facebook

However, Hodgson mentioned that the company has failed to respond to any of her or the police’s phone calls to explain how such an incident could occur. She expressed disbelief, stating, “It’s just hard to believe someone thinks they have the right to just come and tear something up and walk away from it and didn’t come back and say, ‘I’m sorry. What do I need to do to fix this? It was an accident.’ They didn’t give me nothing.”

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Two Months Later, It Got Worse

Having someone accidentally destroy your home is possibly one of the worst things that can happen. However, that wasn’t the end of Hodgson’s troubles.

A demolished house
Source: @Fox5Atlanta/YouTube

Nearly two months later, Hodgson was still awaiting guidance from insurance, the police, or anyone regarding how to proceed. Then, she received a horrific notice from the city of Atlanta.

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The City Was Fining Her for Demolishing without a Permit

Hodgson reported that while walking around the remains of her house, picking up trash from the yard, she spotted a large yellow notice sign.

A demolished house
Source: @Fox5Atlanta/YouTube

The notice said, “Stop Work Order,” and that Hodgson had only a few days “to fix it, clean it up, get it all done, and have the proper permits.”

The City of Atlanta Rescinded the Citation… For Now

Hodgson immediately contacted the local authorities and explained the situation. Subsequently, the Department of City Planning for Atlanta released a statement to the press regarding the Hodgson property.

Source: Flickr

They wrote, “The correction notice affords the property owner the opportunity to bring the property into compliance. No citation has been issued to date.” However, that doesn’t mean a citation isn’t coming.

It’s Still Hodsgon’s Responsibility To Clean Up the Mess

The statement continued, “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.”

A demolished house
Source: @Fox5Atlanta/YouTube

This means that while the city appears to be granting Hodgson some additional time to clear her property of debris. However, it remains technically her responsibility to do so.

ALSO READ: Atlanta Hospital Employee Fired for Refusing Flu Vaccine Wins Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

This Is Not a Government Issue

The Department of City Planning statement said, “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.”

Source: Atlanta Department of City Planning

Essentially, they’re washing their hands of the issue and pushing Hodgson to pay for expensive lawyers to prosecute the company that illegally destroyed her home. She hopes to recoup any money for her loss through this legal route.

Many People Responded Negatively to Hodgson’s Situation

When her story went viral in October, people all over the city and the world responded. Some expressed frustration and concern for Hodgson, but others lacked sympathy. Many argued that a home boarded up for 15 years should have been demolished.

A photo of houses-near-road
Source: Michael Tuszynski/Pexels

Hodgson told Fox News, “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 Is Trying Her Best To Handle the Situation Alone

Sadly, Susan Hodgson’s husband passed away several years ago. She has reported that it’s been incredibly challenging and truly demoralizing to handle this situation all by herself.

Source: Daniel Frank/Pexels

After spending months on the phone with the police, lawyers, the city, and the company that demolished her home without consent, Hodgson still has no idea what’s going to happen next.

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