Not all property owners have the same standards when it comes to maintaining the external appearance of a building, or a yard. What one feels is an overgrown or unsightly property may be acceptable to another.
What is an overgrown property?
A property may be considered overgrown if;
- Located in a residential zone
- Confirmed to be home to vermin likely to create unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
Council will only investigate if the property is deemed to be in an unsafe or unhealthy condition.
Accumulation of items and unsightly properties are not deemed as overgrown.
Property owners are responsible for;
- Keeping their properties free of long grass and weeds, which may be a fire hazard or harbour vermin
- Ensuring their properties are kept clean and tidy, so there is no accumulation of unsightly objects or materials when viewed from the outside.
How Council deals with overgrown premises
Council will write to the owner/s of the property requesting that the excess grass or vegetation be cut and removed within a certain timeframe. In rural areas, Council may require a fire break along the property boundary to prevent the risk of fire to neighbouring premises.
An inspection is carried out by Council after the timeframe has lapsed.
If the property has not been mowed or cleared Council may issue an “Order 21” on the property. This gives the property owner a further 30 days to remove/clear the vegetation.
A re-inspection will take place after the 30 days has lapsed.
If the property still hasn’t been cleared, Council may issue a fine to the land owner and a quote for the clearance of the land is requested from Council’s contractor.
A letter detailing this quote is sent to the owner advising them they only have a further 10 days to clear the property.
If no contact with Council is made by the owners then Council will instruct its contractor to clear the property. The owner of the property will be billed for this work as per the quote. The cost will be recovered through debtors.
For additional information take a look at Section 124 and Section 679 of the Local Government Act, 1993.
Common unsightly objects or materials include discarded or disused machinery, second-hand material and similar objects or material. They also include derelict vehicles, old white goods, building materials, household waste and the like.
Take pride in the appearance of your home.
- Store goods out of sight in your garage or shed
- Put your rubbish out weekly and take advantage of Council's kerbside collection service for hard and green waste
- Store objects or materials out of view but ensure they do not harbour vermin. Dispose of old vehicles and machinery - some metal recyclers may collect and remove them free of charge
- Cut or slash your overgrown vegetation, and dispose of it responsibly, such as composting in an appropriate compost bin.
How Council deals with unsightly premises
Council will write to the owner with a compliance notice requiring the unsightly objects, materials or accumulations be removed. If no action is taken to tidy up the overgrown or unsightly property, Council will arrange for contractors to carry out the work and charge the land owner for the cost of the work.
Properties are considered to be overgrown and a fire hazard where the grass or weeds are higher than 450mm. A fire hazard also includes a substantial amount of grass clippings, mulch or compost easily capable of spontaneous combustion, or a substantial amount of vegetation that is easily capable of ignition (substantial means that the height, width or length of the material is more than two metres). For bushfire risks associated with overgrown Land please contact the NSW Rural Fire Service Mid Lachlan Valley team on 02 6851 1541.
For further information please contact Council’s Environment, Tourism and Economic Development Department on 02 6895 1950