Local News

Nash County Home Causes a "Stink" for Neighbors

Posted October 25, 1998

— No matter where you live, neighbors can be annoying. But what happens when the house next door becomes dangerous? That is what some residents of a Nash County town are asking.

Every neighbor that WRAL talked to said they like Leslie Holder, but his Middlesex home smells terrible. When he is not fishing or staying with friends, Holder lives in his house on Hanes Avenue that is draped with flies and a disturbing odor.

One neighbor said that friends have offered to help the 65-year-old haul garbage away, but he always turns them down. Holder's son recently told a local newspaper that because of an aneurysm, his father is not thinking straight.

So, what can you do if a house like this one pops up in your neighborhood? That depends on a lot of things, including where you live. Nash County does not have a minimum housing code.

"You have to be very careful about what goes on inside the home, whether it's sanitary or not so sanitary. By that, you have a privacy issue that you have to deal with," said Nash County Health Director William Hill.

Health experts say some problems are easy to identify, but others, like this case, are not. Any potential problems are inside the house. Property owners have rights, and Holder has not broken the law.

"If it affects the overall public health of the community, then that's a different situation and one that must be taken into consideration," said Hill.

Simply put, each case is different, but experts say the health department is always the best place to get an answer.

The problem may be resolved next week. Holder says he will move in temporarily with his son, but he says he will not leave the house until he takes care of some personal items.


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