MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - He received death threats after complaining about his neighbor's dirty yard. One east Memphis man says he's scared about reporting anymore blight to code enforcement. Not only does he have to worry about neighbors making threats, but he says code enforcement does nothing to clean up the neighborhood.
When it comes to Tom Nehring complaining about his neighbors' trash, things get ugly.
"I’ve had some vandalism because of inspectors telling [neighbors] hey, I’m the one that called in and complained, and that's just not right,” Nehring told ABC24 News.
Thursday he says his neighbor, Michael Hardin, threatened him after he called the city inspectors.
"He grabbed the door handle of my car and it was locked so he starts punching the glass, threatening me,” said Nehring.
"The city is tired of him, Judge Potter is tired of him, and I’m tired of him,” said Michael Hardin. “And if it don't stop they're going to come visit him in a hospital because I’m not playing with him no more."
The city has cited the Hardin family twice for having debris and cars on the lawn. They even have a pile of scrap metal. The Hardins say they sell it to make extra cash but Nehring says it's an eye sore in the community.
"They're not little violations they're ugly, ugly violations,” said Nehring.
Nehring also has surveillance cameras all around his house to protect himself. He caught code enforcement telling neighbors he called to complain about their mess.
"What's the incentive for somebody else to call the city when your neighbors can threaten you like the way they've threatened me,” he said.
Nehring has piles and piles of complaints that date back to 2005. He says code enforcement blows him off almost every time.
"Every week that these complaints weren’t addressed and weren’t solved these inspectors got a paycheck and they're not doing their job,” said Nehring.
Memphis City Code enforcement told us via email they do their best to make citizens responsible for their property they own. The Hardin family is expected to appear in the environmental court Monday, February 25th.