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City Says Its Hands Are Tied In Dealing With Million-Dollar Zombie Mansion On Staten Island

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A zombie mansion on Staten Island is angering nearby residents who say the smell and the rodents are just too much to handle.

The city says it's hands are tied, and they can't do anything about the swamp in the middle of a million-dollar neighborhood in Tottenville that's attracting all kinds of critters.

"It's just a breeding ground for mosquitoes," neighbor Sue Hanson said.

"On a really hot humid day, an awful smell comes from the backyard," another neighbor said.

The abandoned house on Joline Avenue is lovely in front, with a market value hovering around $1 million. The backyard, however, tells a different story. It's overgrown with an algae-covered pool and rusting furniture strewn about. What appear to be rodent bones lay sprinkled on the patio steps.

"My kids, they'll come out here to play and five minutes in they're like 'Mom, we can't play outside the mosquitos are so bad'," a neighbor named Nesreen said.

Neighbors have been calling city agencies about the hazardous home for two years.

"I've yet to meet the owner," Nesreen said. "Four years living there, she's never come by."

Unless the house undergoes a foreclosure, there isn't much the city can do.

"No one seems to care," Hanson said.

Multiple attempts to contact the homeowner went unanswered. Chase Bank, which holds the mortgage to the home, says, "We always work hard to maintain properties once we have been granted ownership."

A Chase representative tells CBS2 they've been trying to foreclose on the property, but like the city they've been unable to make much headway with the owner. Now that the bank is aware of the burden the home has become on neighbors, Chase says it will send someone to the site to inspect and start cleaning by the end of the week.

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