TWO people have been fined $1000 each for refusing to clean up their property in Golden Square.
The City of Greater Bendigo has prosecuted two people who occupy a house in Booth Street, Golden Square, at the Bendigo Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
They were found guilty of using their property for storage without a permit and for keeping the property in an unsightly manner.
The council first responded to a complaint about the property in March 2012 and told the occupiers to clean up the cars, long grass and rubbish on the property.
The owners did not comply with council orders.
City of Greater Bendigo director planning and development Prue Mansfield said council had no choice but to take the issue further.
“On several occasions a representative from the City attempted to get the people occupying the property to clean it up and remove car bodies, cut long grass and remove any disused material,” she said.
“The occupiers failed to comply with these directions and, as a result, were fined and also ordered to pay the City’s legal costs of $3,000."
Ms Mansfield said it was potentially dangerous to property owners and neighbours to keep a messy and unclean property.
“Illegally storing goods without a permit can contribute to a property deteriorating into an unsightly state and becoming a fire risk," she said.
"This example is a timely reminder for people to ensure their properties are clear of rubbish and clutter that can affect the amenity of their neighbourhood and put their safety at risk."
Mr Mansfield warned other homeowners that failure to look after their property could result in legal action.
“The City will pursue legal action if items are continuously stored without a permit and when property owners or occupiers repeatedly fail to clean up their property after several written requests.”
The City of Greater Bendigo environment local law document says "an owner or occupier of land must ensure that the land and any structure on the land does not constitute a danger to health or property; does not constitute a fire hazard; is not unsightly...and does not adversely affect the general amenity of the adjoining land or the neighbourhood.