Florida man concerned after sinkhole forms outside his house

A Lake Mary man is turning to FOX 35 News for help after a month of back-and-forth with his landlord over sinkholes forming in his yard. One is several feet wide, and extremely deep. Blaine pointed out, other divots are starting to form on the other side of his yard too. 

"It really just makes everything ten times more stressful, because I really don’t know the integrity of the ground," he said. "I can’t even park my car on this side, just for fear it could become part of the sinkhole."

Blaine said the sinkhole started forming right after the hurricane. He’s been terrified that someone will get hurt.

"There were a lot of kids that were like peeking under there, they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a sinkhole!’ They think it’s part of Halloween, Even my daughter would look at it and get close to it. I have a one-year-old, we have to be careful. I can’t even have them play in the yard."

He called his landlord company, Invitation Homes, the day after Hurricane Ian, September 29, and they said they’d have someone out in two weeks.

"Within that time, I called the city, I called the County, I called the Fire Department," he said. The City and County only checked to make sure they weren’t at fault and confirmed the fix would be up to the landlord. The Fire Department put up caution tape around the sinkhole that had caved in but did nothing further. 

Invitation Homes sent out a landscaper and a plumber – neither could do anything. One found a leak but said it wasn’t affiliated with the sinkhole. 

He called Invitation Homes again on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and was told they’d send someone out again on Nov. 15. 

When FOX 35 News talked on the phone with Invitation Homes, a representative majorly downplayed the issue. When told she should take the issue more seriously because of the risk to children, pets, and the integrity of the home, the representative said they would send a statement instead of having a discussion.

That statement did not address any of the questions FOX 35 News asked.

"Invitation Homes is proud to provide high-quality homes to the growing number of Americans who choose to rent versus own. Our associates genuinely care about ensuring we provide an exceptional experience for our residents, and our teams work hard every day to honor the trust that 80,000+ families and individuals have placed in us to provide them a safe and secure home. We are working to address the concern of the resident on Mill Run Drive and will take all appropriate actions until the issue is resolved," the statement said.

In the meantime, there are other divots forming on the other side of the yard, and Baline said he is terrified about what could be under his house.

"If you step in it, your foot immediately sinks down," he said, pushing on the grass to show it squishing in several inches. "It’s kind of how that first one looked, but once the rain starts coming down, it’s probably going to open up again."