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Property owners in Brisbane with unsightly gardens, hoarding habits, and rundown homes could find their properties tidied up, with the bill for the work landing in their mailboxes.
Starting on June 30, four new Brisbane City Council officers will be employed to crack down on unkempt properties across the city.
The new program will cost half-a-million dollars a year, and was announced as part of the city’s 2017-18 budget.
Matthew Bourke, community services chairman of the Brisbane City Council, said the new program was put together in response to the growing number of investor-owners who were neglecting their responsibility as property owners.
“These council officers will be responsible for managing properties that are found to be breaching council's local laws for health, safety and amenity concerns, such as hoarding and unkempt properties with out-of-control vegetation,” he said.
Far too many investors think that since they don’t reside in their properties, they don’t have the responsibility to maintain it, according to Bourke. “But this is not the case. Each property owner is responsible for ensuring their home and property is well-maintained and not adversely impacting the amenity of neighbours.”
Any unsightly Brisbane residence, not just investment properties, could come to the attention of the officers. At present, the council is monitoring 236 untidy properties.
If the officers become aware of a problem property, they will identify the owners and encourage them to clean up their properties voluntarily. If this measure fails, the council will take further action with enforcement notices and fines.
The new program will give officers the power to engage contractors to perform the clean ups and charge residents on their next rates notice for the council-ordered work.