Phoenix neighborhood fed up with person reporting homes for nit-picky repairs

PHOENIX - A Valley neighborhood is frustrated by somebody who is treating city code inspectors like their own personal homeowners association. 

Neighbors in the Royal Palms area of Phoenix said they're tired of being nitpicked. 

A homeowner named Maddy said she just received a City of Phoenix complaint for a small area of peeling paint on one side of her house. She doesn't know who complained but wishes the person would have simply come to her with the problem before turning her in. 

"This individual is going out of his way to police about a neighborhood that is not an HOA community in any regard," said Maddy. "For you to go around and backdoor your friendly neighbor instead of lending a hand to help just creates a more frustrating situation."

Maddy now has to schedule a pricey repair or pay a $100 fine.

However, she's not alone.  

Just a few streets over, Paul Graham said he's had six to eight complaints in the past year. 

"It's been a little ridiculous. Anything that goes in the alley — we get a complaint. We had a car in the driveway with a cover...got a complaint on that," said Graham. 

Phoenix Neighborhood Services is in charge of code enforcement.  

Code manager Bob Lozier said prolific complainers aren't uncommon in several neighborhoods.  In Royal Palms, they've received 170 complaints over the past year with 20 percent of those from the same person. 

Lozier said city rules require each complaint to be investigated. Valid concerns mean a notice to the homeowner.  

If the homeowner doesn't take care of the problem, fines can range from $100 to $2,500, although Lozier said the city prefers to work with homeowners to avoid a fine and only a small percentage of complaints go that far. 

Lozier also said that while complaints are anonymous, they do look out for complainants who cross over into pesky nitpicks. 

"If they're turning in a lot of cases that aren't substantiated where there's little or no violation on the property consistently, we typically want to reach out to that individual and educate them," Lozier said.

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