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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) -  Keeping things up to code is easier said than done according to One Heart of Illinois couple.

They're not sure what to do in order to avoid being penalized further by City Code Enforcement.

"We're not responsible, nobody in our family is responsible, so I don't know what kind of solution we could come up to." says Cindy Duke.

She's tired of being penalized for random items left on her property.

"They fined us, I think $1,250 for somebody else's household trash even after they picked it up. They still left a mess, we still had to rake up. There's like broken TV sets and stuff like that."

The couple says it's now hard for them to get around and take care of the property on a regular basis.

"We're elderly, we're older, we have disabilities, we're not as mobile."

With trash piling up, the yard is in desperate need of maintenance. Peoria City Code Enforcement says the property still needs to be taken care of.

"The codes are in place for a reason, every code that we enforce is really to address something. We make sure properties are cleaned up, free of liter, free of tall grass to really prevent rodent infestation, bugs, things like that." says Joe Dulin, Assistant Director of Community Development at Peoria City Code Enforcement.

Code enforcement says appearance is everything in order to limit issues.

"Most well-maintained properties don't see illegal dumping, It's kind of the ones that are overgrown, that people can drive down an alley and dump stuff on. The more you can keep the property up the less likely that is to happen."

Dulin says as long as you own that property, you're going to be responsible for what happens on that property.

Donnie Tillman

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