The Public Health Regulation 2005 makes it an offence for people to harbour or breed vermin on their property. Vermin includes rats and mice, which are capable of carrying or transmitting a disease. An owner of a property must ensure that it is kept in such a way that vegetation or buildings should not act as a form of shelter or attraction for vermin. Regular maintenance of your yard and any buildings or structures can help in the eradication of vermin harbourage and breeding. For vacant land this would mean ensuring the grass mown is mown regularly.
What do I do if I have a concern about a neighbour’s property?
Contact council to lodge a complaint. Your name and address will be required together with the location of the offending property. Personal details are of a confidential nature.
What action does Council take?
An inspection is carried out to determine the extent of the breach under the Public Health Regulation 2005. If the complaint is justified a notice is served on the owner requiring such person to attend to clearance to Council’s satisfaction within a period of fourteen (14) days.
What happens if a person does not comply?
Should the owner not take the necessary action to remove and prevent the harbourage of vermin within the specified period, Council’s contractor will be commissioned to enter upon the property and carry out the required works. Council costs incurred in this eventuality will become a charge upon the land.
What happens if I receive a notice under the Public Health Act?
You will be required to take the necessary action outlined in the notice to prevent the harbourage or attraction of vermin within your property boundary.
If Council contractors are required to enter and carry out the works after the expiration of notices, an administration cost and the cost of carrying out the works will be placed as a charge against the land.