Unsightly Properties and Dilapidated Buildings

An unsightly property can simply be one where lawns are too long, weeds are out of control and the garden needs attention. At the other end of the scale, an unsightly property can resemble a junk yard with excessive machinery, hard waste or building materials. Dilapidated and unsafe buildings are buildings that have not been kept in a state of good repair and pose a hazard if they are used.

Unsightly properties can also be where the appearance of the land is one of neglect and is out of character with other properties in the vicinity.

A property or premises can be considered unsightly, and possibly dangerous, if it has one or more of the following:

  • Unconstrained or excessive rubbish
  • Disused excavation, machinery, vehicles or waste material
  • Accumulated items
  • Excessive vegetation, including grass or weeds exceeding 200mm in height
  • Graffiti which is visible to the public.

Unsightly and poorly maintained properties can:

  • Have a negative effect on the area's appearance and property values
  • Potentially be a fire hazard
  • Lead to graffiti, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour such as drug use
  • Attract vermin such as rats and mice or create a fire hazard.

In a commercial/industrial environment, unsightly properties can also have a detrimental impact on business because potential customers associate poor housekeeping/property maintenance practice with poor business practice.

Well maintained properties, whether private, commercial or industrial, add greatly to the beauty and amenity of our municipality. For these reasons, the Whitehorse Community Local Law ( PDF 280.06KB) requires property owners/occupiers to maintain their properties and prevent them from becoming unsightly.