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Unsightly properties

Poorly maintained properties can have negative social, economic and safety impacts.

Knox City Council can issue fines for unsightly and unsafe properties.

The issue of unsightly properties

Unsightly properties make the area seem unsafe, untidy and poorly cared for. They can:

  • impact negatively on the area's appearance
  • encourage graffiti, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour
  • attract vermin and pests
  • create a fire hazard.

Community Laws and unsightly properties

Under the Amenity Local Law 2020 owners/occupiers must maintain their properties and prevent them from becoming unsightly.

An unsightly property is a poorly maintained or badly kept property. It applies to private properties, commercial businesses or industrial premises.

A property or premises will be listed unsightly due to:

  • large amounts of rubbish
  • disused excavation or waste material, machinery or vehicles
  • unkept plants, trees and bushes, including grass exceeding 150mm in height
  • a combination of the above.

An unsightly property may have long grass, untidy gardens or too many weeds. Or it could look like a junkyard with abandoned hard waste or building materials.

The role of property owners, occupiers and landlords

The Amenity Local Law 2020 is clear in listing the owner/occupier of land as responsible for that property. If you are a landlord, remember you and your tenants are equally responsible for the property.

Here are some hints for maintaining your property:

  • Regularly maintain gardens, trees and lawns.
  • Keep building materials in a neat and tidy manner or out of sight.
  • Any other materials should be stored in sheds or other suitable containers.

You must also make sure there is no danger to a person’s health or property.

Council inspections

Knox City Council checks any requests or reports about unsightly properties.

We will act quickly to inspect any properties that you report as causing a problem.

Complaints about unsightly properties

If Council receives a complaint about your property, a Community Laws Officer will come out to inspect it.

If the officer identifies any issues, you will receive a Notice to Comply stating that works must be completed by a certain date. If works are not completed by that date, infringements may apply.

Sometimes you may even receive an infringement without first being given a Notice to Comply.

Council may enlist a contractor to complete works on behalf of an owner if the issue is not resolved within a satisfactory timeframe. The costs for any completed works are the responsibility of the property owners, as stipulated in the Local Government Act 1989.

Need help?

Contact us and we will get back to you.

Or call our Community Laws department on 9298 8000.

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