Overgrown Properties

 

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Overgrown

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Property owners are responsible for ensuring their property is maintained and doesn’t provide a place for vermin to live and breed. This means keeping properties free of long grass, vegetation, and waste.

If you are concerned about your neighbour's overgrown property, we encourage you to talk to your neighbours about the problem and seek a mutually suitable solution. 


What Can Council Do?

Council can inspect overgrown properties and take action if the property is considered both overgrown and unhealthy. However, Council's powers are limited and often serve to inform the landowner that their property is overgrown and needs maintenance. 

During an inspection, Council will assess:

  • Higher than knee-height grass 
  • More than 80% of the property is overgrown 
  • Length of time the property has been overgrown
  • Whether the property is harbouring vermin, and/or is likely to create unhealthy conditions that impact others. 

 

What is an overgrown property?

An individual's perception of an overgrown property can differ from person to person.

Council cannot take action on a property that is untidy or unsightly. We can only action properties that present health or safety risks. 

Generally, an overgrown property has vegetation that is:

  • Higher than knee-height grass 
  • More than 80% of the property is overgrown 
  • Has not been maintained for a long period of time
  • Is harbouring vermin, and/or is likely to create unhealthy conditions that impact others

What are the property owners responsibilities?

Property owners are responsible for ensuring their property, whether vacant or developed, does not become overgrown and unhealthy. 

This means keeping properties free of long grass, vegetation, and waste.

Council recommends installing a temporary fence to reduce the risk of illegal dumping if the property is vacant. 

What is Council's process?

If you contact Council, the following steps can be taken:

  1. We will send an initial courtesy letter to the property owner advising them of the concerns raised and requesting the property be maintained within 21 days 

If you advise the property continues to be overgrown after 21 days:

  1. Council will complete an inspection of the property
  2. For an unhealthy property Council may issue a formal notice, followed by an order for the land to be maintained 

These matters often take time to resolve because Council is required to allow time for the property owner to take action. Additionally, other factors such as weather and/or an owner with adverse circumstances will impact their ability to maintain the land.

For more information on how Council responds to regulatory matters refer to Council's Environment & Regulatory Services Enforcement Policy

What if Council does not consider the property unhealthy?

If the property is untidy but not a public health and safety risk, the property owners must resolve their differences between themselves. However, Council may still provide the property owner with information on how to maintain their property to prevent it from becoming overgrown. 

What action can I take?

If you are concerned about your neighbour's overgrown property, you should attempt to speak with your neighbour to resolve the issue.

The Community Justice Centre provides free mediation and conflict management services to help neighbours resolve disputes and build ongoing relationships. 

Further information is available at www.cjc.nsw.gov.au or 1800 990 777.

For more information contact Council's Customer Service Team on 02 4654 7777 or via email

For more information contact Council's Customer Service Team on 02 4654 7777 or via email

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