Overgrown or Unsightly Premises

Council regulates a range of potential nuisances relating to vegetation and unsightly conditions on private property under its Local Law No. 10 (Public Health) 1999.

Property owners are responsible for:

  • keeping their properties free of long grass and weeds, which may be a fire hazard or harbour vermin, and
  • ensuring their properties are kept clean and tidy, so there is no accumulation of unsightly objects or materials when viewed from the outside.

Overgrown premises

Fire hazard

Properties are considered to be overgrown and a fire hazard where the grass or weeds are higher than 450 millimetres. 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).

Vermin

Properties may also be regarded as overgrown where the grass or weeds are long and thick enough for rats, mice or other vermin to live and breed. Snakes and cane toads are not classified as vermin.

How Council deals with overgrown premises

Council may issue the owner with a compliance notice requiring the excess grass be cut and removed. In rural areas, Council may require a fire break along the property boundary to prevent the risk of fire to neighbouring premises.

Unsightly premises

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.

Prevention

  • 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 waste 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 (whether dead or alive) and dispose of it responsibly, such as composting in an appropriate compost bin.

How Council deals with unsightly premises

Council may issue 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.

View the Overgrown and Unsightly Premises Fact Sheet (PDF 138 KB)

Please contact Council on 07 3412 5318. A Council officer will inspect the subject property and initiate enforcement action where necessary under appropriate legislation.