> Unfortunately if you live in an older neighborhood
> without a HOA in Fairfax - or anywhere, really -
> you may be shit out of luck.
> Seems to me one thing you might do is track down
> who owns the house. I would write him or her a
> letter detailing the problems with a request to
> fix it. At the end, I would add a veiled threat to
> take the issue up with zoning and public health
> officials in the county if something isn't done
> about it.
> Not sure if it will do anything, but it's better
> than doing nothing.
If you do not hav an HOA, first I would get license plate numbers of all vehicles associated with the house. It really helps when you call the County's over-occupancy people.
Second, and this is the fun part. Call the Fairfax Department of Health and complain aboutr the trash in their bacyard. Use words like "rats" "Mosquitoes and standing water" and "Rat feeces" are all good buzz words to get someones attention. The county will be out post-haste to pee over the fence.
Third, take a stroll early one Sunday morning when most people are home, asleep, Look at the vehicles. Check for expired stickers and expired plates. Make notes. Then - the fun part - make note of any vehicles cross-plating. This means two vehicles have the same back plate and neither vehicle has a front plate. Cops love this. Call the police and report them 703-691-2131. The police will come and ticket vehicles with expired plates and stickers and any vehicles cross plated, the police will actually remove both plates and give both vehicles very hefty fines.
Also check for out of state plates. Report these to the tax evaders to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/taxevaders/addRecord.asp
Noise ordinances. The police will never tell a violator who complained. Actually they are very good at saying "someone from three blocs away called, it must have been really loud!". I believe 10:30 pm weekdays and midnight weekends they must tone it down. These may not be the actuall times, by law, but these are good rules of thumb.
If the house is a rental, go to the county records and you will be able to find out if there is a mortgage on it. If there is, send a letter to the mortgage company telling them it is a rental - most landlords who rent to shady people do not report to the mortgage company it is a rental because it requires more expensive insurance. Include some pictures of the property and the the way it is deteriorating. Mortgage companys can become quite a pain in the butt to landlords if the company feels their investment is at risk. Also, report to Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia it is a rental and not "owner occupied". Many landlords, shockingly, do not report rental income....
The point is to mae it uncomfortable for the people in the house. Unfortuneately to do this legally, it takes a lot of time and effort.
If you have a HOA, approach them or the management company if you have one. Management Companies deal with this everyday and will be able to do a lot of these steps for you.