Reverse mortgage and rats

To the Editor:

A home across from me in Palo Alto was recently taken over by a HUD repossession on a reverse mortgage. Now the house sits in limbo while HUD waits the required time before it can be placed on the market. Unfortunately, RATS have taken over the outside of the home. HUD’s maintenance company says it’s not their problem unless the rats are inside.
So, I called nearly every department I could think of in The Villages with the same result – it’s not our problem. I called Sumter County Code Enforcement,  the Sumter County Health Department, and whoever else would listen. he result was the same each time – It’s not our problem.  In the end my neighbor and I purchased rat poison and placed it around the home.
Is there any government agency (city or county) that can force a homeowner or HUD’s maintenance company to keep the rodent population under control?

Tom Connolley
Village of Palo Alto