Overgrown gardens, in most instances, do not cause or constitute a public health nuisance or environmental health issue and, although they look unsightly, they would not usually warrant action by the Council.
South Tyneside Homes properties
If the property concerned is looked after by South Tyneside Homes, please report the overgrown garden to the South Tyneside Homes Contact Centre on 0300 123 6633.
What to do about a neighbour's overgrown garden
Overhanging vegetation from overgrown gardens can be cut off by the affected property owner to the boundary line and passed back to the overgrown side; however, you should talk with your neighbour first to discuss any issues and try to find a suitable resolution before cutting back vegetation.
It may be that your neighbour is having difficulty coping with the garden and would appreciate some support, maybe from yourself or perhaps from local charities or volunteer groups.
Damage caused by overgrown vegetation (such as damage to boundary fences) is a civil matter and you should seek independent legal advice if this is the case. The Council is unable to assist in these matters.
Pests in overgrown gardens
Overgrown gardens can sometimes provide harbourage for pests such as rats and mice in the short-term; however this usually doesn't result in an ongoing or long-term infestation which is considered a public health issue.
Most gardens, overgrown or not, will frequently be visited or passed through by rodents as they travel between feeding or nesting sites or during their exploratory movements. A sighting doesn't necessarily mean that there is a problem which will become a greater issue or need any action taking.
If you have rats or mice on your property you may wish to contact a pest control service, who will be able to offer advice on treatment. The Council offers a chargeable pest control service for homes and businesses in South Tyneside.
Find out more about pest control.
When would the Council get involved?
Action against a property owner in respect of overgrown vegetation will only be taken where a public health issue has been identified and confirmed by the Council.
There must be sufficient evidence to show that:
- there is a significant and ongoing rodent infestation caused or exacerbated by the garden's/land's condition, and
- baiting of adjacent properties or land has proved to be ineffective in eliminating the rodent issue
Evidence will be required to show this is the case.
Overhanging trees or branches on roads and paths
Overhanging trees or branches can cause safety problems and be inconvenient.
You can report problem trees or branches on roads, pavements or public rights of way such as footpaths or bridleways.
See overhanging trees and branches.
Harmful weeds or invasive non-native plants
For information on invasive non-native or harmful weeds, such as Japanese knotweed or common ragwort, go to GOV.UK: Prevent the spread of harmful invasive and non-native plants.