All residents are responsible for keeping their properties neat and tidy. Properties that are not maintained to a satisfactory condition can be both a nuisance and a danger to their neighbours and the community.

What is an overgrown property?

Council will consider the property to be overgrown if:

  • plants, weeds, or grass interfere with the public’s use of the footpath or road
  • grass longer than 500mm over a significant portion of the premise
  • the property has become unsightly due to the lack of yard maintenance
  • the property is likely to attract vermin,
  • the property is considered to be a fire hazard.

What is an unsafe property?

Council will consider the property to be unsafe and or unhealthy if there is a build-up of:

  • old appliances
  • building materials
  • household furniture and goods
  • loose garbage
  • bottles, cans, boxes or packaging materials
  • discarded or disused machinery/vehicle or parts
  • severely rusted vehicles and machinery
  • dead vegetation such as Palm fronds, etc

Swimming pools that are not regularly filtered and chlorinated and become stagnant are also considered unsafe.

Tips for maintaining your property

  • Remember your green FOGO goes out weekly and your yellow recycling and red landfill bins go out fortnightly
  • Put your rubbish out on time, don’t store it
  • Take advantage of Council’s bulk kerbside collection
  • Mow lawn and tidy your garden regularly
  • Store items on a rack 30cm off the ground in your garden shed or garage to prevent vermin nesting
  • Dispose of old vehicles or machinery – try contacting a scrap metal removal service
  • Ask someone to maintain the garden if you will be away for an extended period of time

What should I do if I notice an overgrown, unsafe or unhealthy property?

In most cases, the best way to resolve an issue is by having a polite conversation with the people who live there.

We understand that some people won’t feel comfortable having direct conversations. Council has developed a letter you may like to use - simply print it out, fill in your details (if you wish), and place it in your neighbour’s letterbox

If these actions are not effective you can report the problem to Council.

How will Council manage my complaint?

When we receive a complaint, our first step is to investigate it.

If we find that the property is overgrown, unsafe or unhealthy, we will give the owner a written notice telling them to clean up within 14 days. The owner will be told what actions need to be taken. 

If the owner does not take action within the given time, we have authority under Local Government Act 1993 (Public Health) to issue a Penalty Infringement Notice and arrange for a contractor to do the work. The owner will be liable for the cost.

If we find that the property does not meet the overgrown/unsafe/unhealthy criteria, no further action will be taken. Customers will be informed of Council’s decision in writing.

How long is the process?

Achieving the best outcome can often take time, on average most complaints are resolved within 28 days.  However, in some cases, the process can take up to 4 months to resolve.

How do I report an overgrown/unsafe/unhealthy property?

What do I do if I receive a notice?

The best course of action is to voluntarily comply. This means you will action all items listed on the notice. 

If you do not comply, then Council may issue you with an Order 21. Failure to comply with the Order is an offense and carries a maximum monetary penalty of $2,200.

If you require further information or have questions about the notice please contact City Regulation Officer listed on your letter.

Last updated : Thu 29 Apr 2021