OWNERS of empty houses are being reminded of their obligations to maintain them following complaints that some vacant homes are attracting “unsavoury” behaviour and posing a fire risk.
Neighbours of a vacant house in Nepean Highway, Mornington, say their years of complaints to Mornington Peninsula Shire have gone “nowhere”.
One neighbour said that for almost four years residents had been urging council staff to do something about the overgrown property.
“They did make an effort to make contact and ensure it was safe and not as much of a fire hazard as it has come to be, but it’s not really good enough,” she said.
“A contractor has come (about six months ago) and temporary fencing has been taken down and it was cleaned up, but there is green waste which is now a fire waiting to happen.
“It’s a free for all for unsavoury types to come in all day and night, people dropping waste there – trolleys, signs, trailer loads of old timber.
“I have made various attempts to speak to local councillors, this seems to be almost contradictory to what the peninsula prides itself on.”
Community safety and compliance manager Shannon Maynard said the council was aware of the issue and had been in “constant contact” with the owner regarding clearing the property.
He said the property was partially cleared in March, but there was still more work to be done.
“There are processes in place under which council can clear a property and take the matter to court to recover costs and we have now given the owner a deadline for this,” he said.
“ I am hopeful this issue will be resolved before we get to that stage.”