Overgrown or unsightly properties can be both a nuisance and a danger to neighbors and the community. All residents have a responsibility to keep their properties neat and tidy and to improve the appearance of our community, remove harborage for vermin to breed and reduce health risks. A well-maintained property is also an effective crime prevention tool because properties that are not being cared for give criminals the impression that the property is unattended and might be an easy target.
Overgrown vegetation and storage of materials in and around your property is regulated under the Ipswich City Council Local Law No. 8 (Nuisances and Community Health and Safety) 2013. It is the responsibility of property owners to make sure that a property is maintained in an acceptable condition.
Overgrown vegetation is visible from outside the property and is known to cause a significantly lower visual standard in the area, due to the visible lack of maintenance. Overgrown grass also has the potential to harbour or attract vermin and reptiles and may also pose a fire risk - if you see any potential fire hazards on a neighbouring property contact Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
Unsightly properties can occur when objects or materials that are brought onto or allowed to accumulate on any vacant land, residential or commercial property, seriously affecting the aesthetic of the property. Materials generally classified as unsightly include discarded or disused machinery, second-hand materials and similar objects, as well as derelict vehicles, old whitegoods, building materials and household waste.
Keeping your yard free from overgrown vegetation and objects makes our residential streets more visually appealing for everyone - here are a few tips on good ways to keep order in your home:
Hoarding is the persistent accumulation of - and lack of ability to relinquish - large numbers of objects or living animals, resulting in extreme clutter in or around a premises. Squalor is an unsanitary living environment which may occur as a result of extreme environmental neglect and is commonly (but not always) associated with hoarding behaviour. Council recognises that living in conditions of squalor and hoarding can have significant impacts on the people living in the affected home and also on the neighbouring residents and properties. There is increasing recognition that there can be a range of complex reasons for this behaviour, such as mental health issues, poverty or physical injury and so such issues often take a long time to resolve. Council's environmental health team has developed a factsheet for dealing with hoarding and squalor issues (under More Information below).
Should you experience issues with overgrown or unsightly properties, hoarding or squalor, there are various avenues of action that can be considered: