Problem Properties

Unkempt and derelict properties are a common issue in many neighbourhoods. Aside from being eyesores, they can decrease property values and lead to other issues as well.

This article is a brief rundown of the most common types of problem properties and a quick look at recommended solutions. Common problems include:

1. An excess of derelict items. For example: construction debris, old appliances, non-running vehicles, tires, and parts. Garbage, basically.
2. Unmowed lawns (over 10 cm), weeds, and compost heaps.
3. Building(s) in serious disrepair. Holes in roofs, missing or broken windows and doors, or any other openings in building allowing for easy, unauthorized access.
4. Graffiti and other forms of vandalism.

The simplest solution is to talk to the owner or resident and politely address your concerns. Unfortunately, this isn’t always effective. If the problem persists you may need to make a formal complaint to City Bylaw by phoning 311 or online.

Bylaw usually issues a warning, and most complaints are rectified without any further action. If the owner is noncompliant a fine may be issued or they may be taken to court.

There are scenarios where mitigating factors are involved and a gentler approach could be more effective, especially in the long term, such as:

  • Your neighbour is elderly or otherwise physically unable to attend to these issues.
  • Your neighbour is a problem hoarder. Hoarding is a serious mental health issue that requires a different tactic. (See Joanne McNeal’s related article on this page for more information.)

Ron lives in McCauley.

More in this issue

Janis Irwin MLA

Neighbourhood Views

Around the Neighbourhood

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Volume 40, Issue 6 will be published September 15. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also accept submissions of poetry and cartoons. Deadline: August 22, 2019. Send submissions to: Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.