Overgrown land

Overgrown plants next to a house.

Our sub-tropical location means plants grow quickly here in the Tweed. During spring and summer we get lots of calls about overgrown properties.

Property owners are encouraged to maintain their land with mowing, pruning and general maintenance, especially in the spring and summer months.

Talk to your neighbours if possible, before you report a problem.

What is an overgrown property?

An overgrown property may be residential or commercial land (with or without a dwelling or building) which is deemed to be in an unsafe and unhealthy condition.

A property which is ‘untidy’ may not necessarily be considered a health or safety risk.

Factors include:

  • land home to vermin (evidence can include sightings, faeces, nests, runs or eggs)
  • land likely to provide a home to vermin (vegetation is consistently thick, at least 600 mm high and covers a sufficient area to provide a potential home for vermin - an uncleared or regenerated bush block of mainly indigenous vegetation would not necessarily be considered a home for vermin)
  • excessive vegetation is a potential fire risk.

Overgrown vegetation does not include native vegetation protected under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, or Native Vegetation Act 2003.

Vermin does not include native fauna. Read more about pest animals and weeds.

Blocks that are more than 2 hectares (20,000 m2) and are a fire hazard are dealt with by Rural Fire Service. Call RFS on 02 6672 7888.

Report a problem

If you have not been able to talk to the property owner and the property is in a built-up urban area, village area, industrial or business area, contact Council 02 6670 2400 or report a problem. You will need to provide the following details:

  • your name, address and phone number
  • location of overgrown property

Council does not respond to customer requests in relation to overgrown vegetation in rural or rural residential areas.

What action does Council take?

Council staff will inspect the property and discuss the problem with the property owner.

If over a reasonable period of time the property has not been returned to a ‘safe and healthy’ state, Council may take more formal action, including the issue of Notices or Orders, to have the excessive vegetation cleared.

Taking regulatory action is a last resort. Residents are encouraged to resolve issues in a neighbourly way. Property owners may not know there's a problem, and will usually fix the problem once it’s been drawn to their attention. 

Receiving a Notice or Order

If you receive a Notice or Order about overgrown property, you must carry out all work in the time specified in the Notice or Order.

Please contact Council's Regulatory Services Unit and tell them about your plans to fix the problem by calling 02 6670 2400.