It’s your backyard, so can the city or county fine you for keeping junk in it? The short answer is yes, you may be subject to a fine depending on the amount of junk. However, laws vary depending on the city or county, so let’s get into more detail.
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How much you can store in your backyard, and whether you will be fined for it, depends on where you live and what kind of junk you have. Any items that create health hazards for other people or the environment will be problematic.
In places like Orange County, the accumulation of junk and trash is indeed a problem. You will be asked to clean it up, and if you don’t, the county will send out a contractor to do it—this means that you will get a bill for this work or a lien on your tax rolls if you refuse to pay the bill.
You might wonder how the city would even find out about your backyard, or how they determine whether you have too much junk. In terms of how they find out, a complaint from your neighbor is all the city needs to justify inspecting your property.
That being said, the city inspector can only enter your property with permission or if they have a search warrant. Otherwise, they can only consider your property from the street or sidewalk, and cannot lift any camera over any fence to document violations. If the neighbor who reported you has a property overlooking yours, the inspector can view your property from there as long as the neighbor permits them.
If the inspector views your property, they can send you a notice of a violation. The only exception is if you already have a notice for the same offense within the past year.
At this point, you do have the ability to appeal the notice within seven days after the notice is given to you. If this doesn’t work, you will have to fix the violation. If you don’t, someone may come to your home to do it for you, and you will be responsible for that bill, or you will just be fined in general.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say, so what could be realistically considered junk? This includes actual garbage piling up in your backyard. Other forms of junk might include random pieces of furniture, mattresses, and yard trimmings.
If you do not have these items collected or do not have trash bagged up and ready to be collected, you can be fined for having it in your backyard.
If you are told to clean your backyard and have a lot of junk to get rid of, you can call your county’s waste authority to give you more information. They can tell you how often items are picked up, where you can place them, and what else you may need to do to prevent any other fines or issues.
Ultimately, if it gets bad enough, you should know that there are junk removal companies like us that help with waste removal. Don’t be intimidated by all the junk. Give us a call to help you haul away all that junk without you lifting a finger.
For the most part, yes, you can be fined for having junk in your backyard. It does depend on where you live and in what county. You will need to check with your local ordinances to be sure that you know what the requirements are for your area and how you might clean up your yard to be within code. If you have junk piling up in your yard, don’t delay any longer, and give us a call today so we can solve your junk problem for you!