Unsightly or dangerous premises
Well maintained properties, whether private, commercial, rural or industrial, add greatly to the beauty and amenity of Loddon Shire.
Those properties that are poorly maintained lead to perceptions that an area is unsafe, untidy and poorly cared for. This has a negative effect on the amenity of the area and can lead to increased levels of graffiti, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour.
In a rural, commercial or industrial environment, they can also have a detrimental impact on business, because potential customers associate poor housekeeping practice with poor business practice.
For these reasons, Loddon Shire Council has created a local law that requires property owners or occupiers to maintain their properties and prevent them from becoming unsightly and dangerous.
What does ‘unsightly’ and ‘dangerous mean?
An unsightly property is any property which has:
- unconstrained rubbish
- excessive vegetation growth
- a disused excavation
- waste material
- a building which is incomplete and not currently being constructed
- a building or other structure or thing which is detrimental to the amenity of the area
- graffiti on any building, structure or boundary fence
- any other property that an Authorised Officer may deem as unsightly.
A dangerous property is any property which is:
- kept in a manner which is dangerous or likely to cause danger to health, life or property
- a haven for vermin, noxious weeds or insects
- used without a permit for the storage of any substance which, in the the opinion of an authorised officer, is dangerous or likely to cause danger to health, life or property
- in any other condition determined by Council to be dangerous or likely to cause danger to health, life or property.
What are my requirements as a property owner or occupier?
The local law simply states that the owner or occupier of land must not cause, allow or suffer their property to become unsightly and detrimental to the amenity of the neighbourhood. In addition, an owner or occupier of land must ensure that their property does not constitute a danger to a person’s health or another person’s property.
Hints for maintaining your property:
- Regularly maintain gardens and lawns, to ensure a consistent appearance with your neighbours.
- Store building materials in a neat and tidy manner, preferably in your back yard or otherwise screened from public view.
- Where possible, any other materials should be stored in sheds or other suitable receptacles.
If you are a landlord, you are jointly responsible with your tenant/s to make sure rented properties are also maintained.
Why should I maintain my property?
International research has shown that poorly maintained properties attract higher levels of anti-social behaviour like graffiti, vandalism and drug use.
There is also the potential to attract vermin or create a fire hazard. Poor maintenance also has a negative impact on property values and contributes to perceptions that an area is not respected by its community.
Owners/occupiers are therefore encouraged to be proactive in maintaining their properties.
What happens if I don't maintain my property?
If a complaint is received by Council that your property is unsightly, the first step will be for a Local Laws Officer to inspect the property. If the officer deems that it does constitute an unsightly property, a Notice to Comply will be issued.
The Notice to Comply will outline the circumstances causing the land to be deemed unsightly, and will state the works required to be completed by a specific date. If the works are not completed by that date or alternative arrangements have not been made with the officer, a contractor may be enlisted to complete the work on behalf of Council.
Once the work is completed to the satisfaction of Council an invoice will be sent to you for payment of these works.
For further information regarding unsightly premises, or to make a complaint to Council about another property, please contact the Local Laws Department on (03) 5494 1200.
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