Homeowner Says City Hired Contractor Damaged Home

Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg homeowner says a contractor hired by the city damaged her rental property on Langhorne Road.

There's no sidewalk until Janelle Basham gets right in front of her Langhorne Road rental property. The concrete was ripped out for road construction. Basham says when a city hired contractor moved the earth next door, they also moved the house.

"My tenant just called and said it felt like there was an earthquake," said Basham.

The front steps are cracked and leaning. There are other cracks to the foundation.

"The door, it was just hanging. You couldn't even really close it," said Basham.

Basham says the damage happened on August 5, when excavation work was going on at the lot next door. Since then Basham has called the excavation company, Fielders Choice Enterprises or FCE, in Charlottesville.

"I actually got the name of the man from the individual holding the stop and slow sign," said Basham.

Slow is exactly the response Basham says she got. For seven weeks, she says her calls were unreturned. She finally heard from the company Thursday.

"He knew that WSET had heard my story," said Basham.

That call came after WSET called the city. The area superintendent for FCE tells us Basham was calling their office number, and the person she needed to speak with worked in the field. The superintendent says miscommunication is the reason it's taken so long. The company told Basham someone will be out to look at the damage next week.

"I just want it fixed," said Basham.

Basham paid $600 out of pocket to fix the door. She's saved those receipts.

The city's public works director, Gaynelle Hart, says the company did note the damage with the city's project consultant. Hart says she plans to talk to Basham to get to the bottom of this.