What to do when council send a request to slash vacant property

Under the Local Law No8 (Public Health, Safety And Amenity) 200, 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

Fire hazards

Properties are considered to be overgrown and a fire hazard where the grass or weeds are higher than 45cm. 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 and other vermin to live and breed. (Note: snakes and cane toads are not classified as vermin.)

How Council deals with Overgrown Premises

Where a property is found to be overgrown, 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. If no action is taken to tidy up the overgrown property, Council will arrange for contractors to carry out the work and charge the land owner for the cost of the work.

Quite often neighbours will report overgrown property due to personal concerns and it is easy to do via any Council website. You can prevent notices to maintain by organising our slashing services on a regular basis.

If you have already received a notice to slash or maintain your property, we can help. If we are booked up until after your compliance inspection date it is easy to arrange an extension of time. You simply have to contact your local council, advise them of your plans to act and request a reasonable extension. Often council are forced to react to a complaint but are reasonable in helping to meet the request.