Owner Responsibilities

Property owners and residents are responsible for the upkeep of their property. Fines can be issued if local laws and regulations are not met.

Building Materials
Roads and footpaths should be kept free of mud, dirt, sand and other materials at all times. Where possible, all building materials should be kept on your property.

Burning Off
To promote a cleaner environment all residents are prohibited from lighting incinerators or burning in the open air in the City of Darebin.

Fires may only be lit outdoors when cooking food.  You need to advise your neighbours and Council prior to cooking food outdoors. An on-the-spot fine of $200 may be issued to anyone found breaking this law.

Note: It is illegal to have an outdoor fire of any kind during Total Fire Ban days.  Ask your local fire brigade for more information about declared Total Fire Ban days. To report an incident call (03) 8470 8888. 

Fire Hazards
To prevent the outbreak of fire, you must keep your property free from long grass or any other combustible materials. Fire season is generally from October to March. Local Laws officers patrol all properties during fire hazard season.

When a property is identified as being a fire hazard, a Fire Prevention Notice is issued to each owner of the property giving them 14 days to clear the property. Local Laws Officers re inspect the property after the notice has expired. There are no extensions on fire prevention notices.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to make sure their property is maintained. If the property is still deemed a fire hazard, we will clear the property and all charges for the clean-up are passed on for you to pay.

In addition to the costs incurred for the removal of the fire hazard, an infringement fee is issued to all owners of the property for failing to comply with the Fire Prevention Notice (for example, if the property is owned by two people, an infringement fee is sent to each person).

Note: Properties issued with a Fire Prevention Notice in the previous year will automatically be checked by Council to ensure the property is safe.We don’t issue Fire Prevention Notices during winter.

Further information is available from Department of Sustainability and Environment. For complaints or concerns about smoke caused by indoor heating or cooking, contact our Customer Service Centre on 8470 8888.

Nature Strips
Property owners are required to mow the naturestrip in front of their property. Residents are encouraged to water newly planted street trees in accordance with any water restrictions.

Mature drought tolerant trees should not require additional water unless during times of extreme drought in which case residents are advised to use grey water.

Information about planting in the nature strip can be found under the Nature Strips and Street Trees section of this website.

Street Numbering
Emergency services such as the police, fire brigade and ambulance all rely on our residential properties having street numbers that are able to be read quickly when attended to a crisis.

Owners are reminded that they have a legal requirement to clearly display the street number on their property. If property owners are having issues with street numbers please us to discuss the matter.  

Unsightly Premises
Property owners are required to keep their land free of any items that may be deemed unsightly or detrimental to the amenity of the neighbourhood.

Further Information
Customer Service
Phone: (03) 8470 8888
Email: mailbox@darebin.vic.gov.au

Any dilapidated or unsound common/dividing fence between properties that bounds and forms part of a swimming pool or spa is also considered an immediate danger that must be reported.

Local Laws Officers are not able to resolve disputes between neighbours over matters such as boundary fences and overhanging trees/shrubs are 'civil' matters which should be dealt with privately.

To assist with the satisfactory resolution of such disputes the Victorian Dispute Settlement Centre offers a free advisory and mediation service for many neighbourhood disputes.

Dispute Settlement Centre
Phone: 03 9948 8628

Fencing disputes are a civil matter between you and your neighbours. The Magistrates' Court deals with disputes under the Fences Act 1968 concerning both the repair of existing fences and the construction of new fences.

Further Information
Customer Service
Phone: (03) 8470 8888
Email: mailbox@darebin.vic.gov.au

Property owners must ensure that their homes follow meet current building regulations, and that Building Permits are obtained for renovations.

All home owners and commercial property owners with balconies should ensure that it is inspected regularly and any required maintenance undertaken.Ensure the balcony is constructed following the issue of a building permit.

If you have any doubts, organise an inspection by an expert (e.g. Building Surveyors, Building Inspectors, Structural Engineers, Architects, Builders).

See Residential Development Regulations for further details.

Balustrades or Barriers
Balustrade or handrails must be provided along the side of any stairway or ramp, any floor, corridor, hallway, balcony, verandah, or the like, and along the side of any path to a building if it is not bounded by a wall and the surface level beneath is more than one metre away.

See Residential Development Regulations for further details.

Swimming Pool and Spa Fences
If you own a swimming pool and/or spa you must install safety barriers and/ or other approved measures to prevent young children from accessing pools and spas unsupervised. For further information check out the Swimming Pool and Spa Fences fact sheet.

You must also obtain a Building Permit prior to installing a pool, spa and the required safety barriers. 

Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are compulsory in all residential buildings including houses, units, flats, boarding houses, hostels and accommodation for the aged.  All smoke alarms must be connected to the mains power with a battery back-up. For further information check out the Smoke Alarm Requirements Information Sheet.

If the building was constructed prior to 1 August 1997, battery operated smoke alarms are acceptable. It is important that your smoke alarms are checked and maintained on a regular basis. All smoke alarms must comply with Australian Standard AS3786. If you do not comply with the Building Regulations you face penalties and fines.

Smoke alarms must be installed on or near the ceiling of every storey of a building. Smoke alarms are intended to detect smoke before it reaches people sleeping in a building. The smoke alarm must be located in a position designed to wake sleeping occupants up and in time to evacuate a building.

A smoke alarm must be located between each area containing bedrooms and the remainder of the building such as hallways or within 1.5m of the entrance to each bedroom.

An alarm is required on every storey, located in the path of travel people will most likely take to evacuate the building. This will ensure an alarm is activated before smoke makes the common exit path impassable. Alarms must be centrally located and audible to all areas not immediately connected to the main story.

Further Information
Customer Service
Phone: (03) 8470 8888
Email: mailbox@darebin.vic.gov.au