Now that winter is fully in the rearview mirror and the warmer weather is here, the City of Brampton is asking residents to “be good neighbours” and adequately maintain their properties. Anyone who doesn’t abide by the rules could face fines.

The city is asking residents to focus on five areas: trees, grass and weeds, stagnant water, maintenance of boulevards, and removal of debris.

When it comes to trees, the city asks that trees and hedges be properly trimmed to avoid preventing people from walking on sidewalks. Trees, even though on private property, are protected by the city’s Tree Preservation By-Law. So before you remove a tree from your property, or if you just have concerns about trees on city property, you should contact the Parks Maintenance department by calling 311.

As for grass, maintaining a lawn isn’t considered optional. The city requires grass to be cut to 8 inches (20cm) or shorter. If the grass on a property is looking unsightly, the city may issue an Order to Comply, essentially ordering a property owner to cut the grass and weeds. If the grass and weeds aren’t cut upon re-inspection, the city will hire a contractor to cut it, and issue a bill plus an administrative fee to the property owner. The total cost then ends up on the owner’s property taxes.

Stagnant water can attract critters like mosquitos and pose a safety hazard, so the city recommends removing water that accumulates in kids’ toys, wading pools, buckets and tires.

As part of property maintenance, residents are also required to keep boulevards, the space in between the roads and sidewalks in front of houses, clean too. Property owners must cut the grass as well as clear away any garbage, debris and animal waste.

Lastly, city bylaws (the Minimum Maintenance and Property Standards By-Law and Refuse and Dumping By-Law) prevents residents from storing debris on their properties, as it can be a hazard. Car parts, lumber, old furniture, appliances, construction materials, animal waste and garbage or debris all fall into that category.

If a property is found to have debris, the city will deal with it in a similar fashion to grass maintenance: they’ll hire a contractor to remove the items and then tack on the bill, as well as an administrative fee, to the property owner’s property taxes.

For more information on property standards, visit the city’s website at www.brampton.ca/bylaws.

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