The London Fire Department and City of London are taking a stronger stance when it comes to vacant buildings that pose a safety risk.

It’s not just that they’re ugly. Some buildings contain mold, rodents or discarded syringes, while others have resulted in flooding and vandalism to neighbouring homes.

And according to Orest Katolyk, London’s manager of bylaw enforcement, they’ve had enough.

“We are working together with the fire department, they are taking a strong approach, as are we, with respect to vacant properties, and it's all for the betterment of the community.”

A house on York Street has been abandoned for five years and is just one of over 70 properties that have been fined by the city and the fire department.

Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop says “We've had a number of buildings where we've had numerous fires over the years and they continue to be insecure. These are the buildings where we are prosecuting the owners.”

Building owners who avoid the calls risk having their property demolished, and then being handed the bill.

It has happened twice recently. A neighbour of a vacant home said it's been a huge problem for the entire neighbourhood.

London resident Phill Labatt says “If you put a sign up for sale anywhere around here people drive by, they look and see this place behind me and they just keep driving.”

He adds that he's also seen a rise in crime on the street and has installed a camera security system around his home.

Jessop says anyone who knows of a property that has been abandoned in their area can call the fire department and let them know.