For years, we have talked to Community Protection Officers (CPO), Councillors, Nottingham City Homes, the Environment Office and landlords themselves to address issues in our area. Although fly-tipping has improved thanks to the brilliant work of the CPO, there are still several unresolved issues – in particular, some landlords or tenants do not cut their hedges or do not take care of clearing alleyways on a regular basis. One fence has fallen off and makes it impossible to use one of the alleyways. The result of this is that the area looks very dismal, with outgrown hedges that cover entrance doors and the central alleyway, which also attracts drug dealers, who hide drugs in between them. Some alleyways in the back of houses become unusable when hedges, blackberries and other shrubs cover them completely.
Started by: Marco Baglieri
On reaching 1 signatures the head of the relevant department will be made aware of the matter.
This Paper petition was received on 25/08/2020.
16 people signed this Paper petition.
I refer to your petition submitted to Nottingham City Council on 6 August 2020, relating to maintenance issues within the locality, in particular at properties on Tissington Road. Firstly, I would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I am very pleased to see that communities of Nottingham City are working cohesively to combat local issues within the city neighbourhoods and escalating these issues to the Council.
I understand your requests to be: force landlords or tenants to cut hedges; force landlords or tenants to clear alleyways; and force landlords to put up fallen fences. Community Protection has a responsibility in tackling some of the behaviours you have outlined in your petition and I can confirm the following in that respect:
Where appropriate, we do have enforcement powers to enforce against tenants and landlords who are not carrying out sufficient maintenance of properties. Whilst this is not a strict guidance on the judgement of what is acceptable grounds for enforcement, we do carry out these enforcement activities and all of our Community Protection officers do refer these matters in cases where they require substantive enforcement. Officers have made several requests to cut back bushes at a few properties within the area and these have always complied, but often within months officers are at the same address requesting further work to maintain hedges and shrubbery. Therefore, enforcement officers have served an additional notice to ensure that this is maintained moving forwards.
With regards to the large ‘Christmas Tree’, discussions will take place with the landlord with a view of carrying out some maintenance work to reduce the size, whilst we will happily act on behalf of concerned residents, we cannot guarantee a positive outcome. We are unable to enforce against the size of trees on private land, this is a civil matter and the Council is unable to initiate any legal action in relation to this.
On a recent review of the area, a local Community Protection Officer (CPO) has observed waste accumulating within the front garden of one property this has been referred to the landlord requesting immediate removal.
Enforcement activities against alleyways is a complex issue, without understanding the complexities associated with this it is easy to misunderstand how what appears to be a simple fix can be a lengthy process. You may or may not be aware that most alleyways associated with properties have a range of ownerships and will usually have a shared responsibility with them. We have had some success in recent years with enforcement against tenants and landlords where there has been an accumulation of waste. Historically, we have found that where waste has been disposed (including fence panels and other garden waste) in an alleyway, all the tenants that share that alleyway are responsible for the removal. If a general agreement or consensus cannot conclude between neighbouring tenants or landlords, we can in fact remove the waste as the Local Authority and recharge the properties. However, we only tend to do this in rare cases as, ultimately, we want landlords and tenants to take responsibility.
Our enforcement officers and CPOs are already aware of several addresses that were highlighted to us in March 2020, but these enforcement actions were halted during the pandemic. However, action has now resumed and this will now progress through the enforcement process.
There is no legislation that specifies that a boundary to a property must have a fence. With that said, if there is a danger to the public – for example, by a falling fence or an unsafe wall – we would refer the matter to our environmental health officers to have a view of the situation. Where there is a danger to the public there, are enforcement actions that can be taken to make the area safe.
CPOs are aware of one particular property with a ‘leaning fence’ and officers have made a formal request, offered adv