Howard helps clean up a ‘rat-astrophe’

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Allyson Ross and her fiancé John Martin can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Two weeks ago, we visited their home in Middle Village, Queens. Their next-door neighbor passed away in 2014, and the house has been vacant since then. The only “tenants” were the rats and raccoons that moved in. The neighbor was a hoarder, and it was nearly impossible to move around the house. On top off all of that, Allyson and John are due to be married and expecting their first child.

They’re sick of the vermin getting into their house.

“We caught four of them in one day, and these weren’t mice. They were rats. And at night you can hear them run back and forth in the ceiling, one side to the next,” Allyson said.

Allyson told us she had called nearly every city agency imaginable, but no one wanted to help. Bank of America had the mortgage, and she wasn’t getting anywhere. Then she decided to call us.

I got on the phone with the bank, and they told me that the property is now owned by a company called Ditech. I gave them a call, and a few days later they were on the scene beginning to clean up.

“The entire front section was lined with trash bags. They said the first order was to start cleaning out food. That’s all they cleaned out so far,” Allyson said. “It was just paper and food.”

Ditech says they are now in the process of bidding out the rest of the job to contractors. Allyson says she’s spent two years trying to get the house next door cleaned up. We’re glad we were able to get Ditech to take action in just a few days.

And by the way, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed a law that may help prevent this problem in the future. The so-called Zombie House law gives the state the power to come in and clean up these foreclosed and abandoned properties and levy fines on their owners.