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December 2016

It is during this time of the year Council often receives a large number of customer requests about overgrown properties.Sometimes a property owner is not aware that the state of their yard is concerning their neighbours and they are eager to address the matter once informed. So don’t forget the value of a neighbourly chat.

Other important things to keep in mind are that not all property owners have a green thumb and maintain their properties in a perfect ‘park like’ condition and a properties zoning also has an impact on whether it is considered overgrown.

If you are unable to contact the owner or your concerns are ignored then Council may be able to assist but only if the property is deemed to be in an unsafe or unhealthy condition. 

The following guidelines will help you determine if Council can assist:

  • The property in question must be located in a residential zone (R1, R2, R3, R4 or R5).
  • The overgrown vegetation has been confirmed as a harbourage for vermin likely to create unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
  • The vegetation in question is more than 600mm (approximately) in height and covers a significant portion of the property.

When a property is deemed overgrown Council sends an initial form letter to the property owner informing them about the vegetation on the property. The letter explains the situation and requests that the property owner maintain the property to a reasonable standard. The property owner is provided with a timeframe of 28 days to improve the condition of the property.

If at the end of the 28 day period the works have not been completed or you still have concerns then you are encouraged to contact Council again. In this instance Council will inspect and assess the property. If Council is satisfied of the overgrown nature of the property then a formal process will be commenced.

This involves the issuing of a formal notice on the property owner directing them to manage and maintain the vegetation. In accordance with administrative provisions of the legislation a four week time frame is generally provided. The failure by the recipient of a notice to satisfactorily comply with the required stated works may result in enforcement action by Council.