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Hoarding and Unsightly Property laws

unsightly property and a dilapidated vehicle

When does your right to manage your stuff as you see fit, become impacted by laws? 

Hoarding and squalor can affect various aspects of a person’s life, including:

  • fire risk
  • mental health
  • physical safety
  • child and family protection
  • animal welfare
  • sanitation
  • building safety
  • environmental aesthetics

In turn, there are various laws and policies that come into play.

One of them is the Unsightly Property law in place in Australian local councils. It requires property owners and occupiers to ensure their land does not become unsightly or dangerous, or attract noxious weeds or pests.

An unsightly property can involve:

  • household rubbish and clutter
  • building waste
  • graffiti
  • excess vegetation
  • deteriorated vehicles
  • flammable materials

An unsightly property may not be the result of hoarding disorder. Passive decline in the inhabitants’ mental and/or physical health, or other circumstances can mean the home is neglected. Therefore a variety of health and other services may need to be engaged.

If a neighbour or loved-one needs help, please gently enquire before calling authorities.

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