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Despite repeated citations, Kansas City tenant refuses to clean up mess — or move out

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A broken lamp post, mattresses, chairs, strips of metal and broken glass -- even a butcher knife wedged into a log.

It's all outside a rental home on East 77th Terrace. You can barely see the grass under all the debris.

"It's just a mess, a nuisance, an eyesore to say the least," said Geneva Olds, whose mother lives across the street.

Olds said the property has been an eyesore for six months, overflowing with trash.

"People used to walk their dogs out here," Olds said. "I don't really even see people come out any more."

Olds said the man renting the property has lived there about two years and almost daily hauls items home in the back of his pickup truck to deposit in his front yard.

"I've seen him at Crown Lodge at 350, and he had a load of mattresses," said Olds, referring to a hotel in neighboring Raytown.

There's a broken street light sitting on the roof, bed frames and what appears to be the inside of a mattress. Through the windows, you can see piles of trash inside as well as a dog living among it.

Neighbors on this otherwise tidy street have reported the renter to Kansas City's Codes Department -- repeatedly.

The city has cited the property 12 times since February for everything from trash to limbs and brush violations. Since most of those citations were ignored, the city is taking the renter to court Aug. 21.

The company that manages this rental home, FirstKey Homes, has also tried to solve this problem. But the wheels of justice turn slowly.

FirstKey has taken the renter to court and refused to renew his lease at the end of May.

Then FirstKey hired a company to clean up the property in early June. Shortly after the renter was supposed to vacate. But the renter wouldn't leave and soon had filled the yard again with new loads of trash.

While FOX4 Problem Solvers was covering the story, the man renting the house -- which court records identify as Robert Miller -- pulled up in a truck filled with more junk.

He told us he was an artist and everything in his yard would eventually be part of a big display. His neighbors said he's been making that same claim for months.

Miller also told FOX4 that he suffered from mental health issues and is in the process of seeking help and cleaning up his property. In fact, he said people would be removing some of the trash that day.

But even several hours later all the trash was still there.

Olds said she holds no personal animosity toward Miller and can appreciate he may be suffering from mental illness, but enough is enough.

This problem may soon be solved, however. Next week, Miller heads to court for an eviction hearing.

He told us he's not worried though because he's bought a house in another neighborhood and will move there then. The rental agency said it's hiring someone to clean up the property as soon as Miller is out.

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