Brimbank council has been unable to track down the owners of a derelict St Albans property that is frequently occupied by squatters and drug users.
An adjoining neighbour of the Anna Street property, who did not want to be named, said the house had been vacant for years and had become a “serious” safety concern.
Fences are falling over, and the abandoned house’s eaves are hanging precipitously loose.
“Every time a storm rolls in I fear they’ll blow into my house,” the neighbour said.
From his bedroom window, he can hear people on the property during the night.
When Star Weekly visited last week, there were discarded syringes strewn by the back fence.
Last year, the neighbour tried to track down the property’s owner when a shared fence began falling down, but his search came to a dead end.
He said he did a title search that led him to a northern suburbs house.
“I went there but no one was home,” he said. “The place was all shut down with security blinds. I left a note, but to no avail.”
Brimbank city development director Stuart Menzies said the council “made all efforts” to contact the owners after a fire at the Anna Street property in late 2013, but it had also failed to make inroads.
Police and firefighters have been called to three other fires at the house in the past six years, all but one of which were considered “serious”.
A police spokeswoman said the property was often occupied by squatters.
Mr Menzies said the council had received more than a dozen complaints about the property in the past few years. He said that since 2013, the council had conducted regular inspections to ensure the site was safe and secure.
“Because the owner was not contactable [in 2013], council arranged for the loose material to be removed, the dangerous walls to be knocked down and the site to be made safe and secure,” Mr Menzies said.
Last week, almost a third of the rear fence, which backs on to a public reserve, was missing.
The neighbour told Star Weekly he would continue his own investigation.