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Overgrown gardens

Overgrown gardens can be unsightly but we wouldn't take any enforcement action as they are not a public health nuisance. 

The responsibility for keeping a garden tidy lies with the owner of the land - the home owner, the occupier or the private landlord.

If you are a council tenant you are responsible for keeping your garden in a tidy and cultivated condition as part of your tenancy agreement. If you don't do this it could be regarded as a breach of your tenancy agreement.

If you are having difficulty maintaining your garden, you may apply to the Garden Assistance Scheme. This is a basic garden service to council tenants, owner occupiers, tenants of private landlords and housing association tenants who are elderly or disabled and cannot maintain their own gardens.

We would only consider enforcement action in circumstances where a garden has extensive overgrowth that we have assessed as a public health health issue. This would need to show a significant and continuing rodent infestation due to the garden's condition. 

Accumulations of waste within a garden do not usually create a long-term shelter for pests such as rats or mice, although they may be attracted to food waste if this has been discarded irresponsibly.

Neighbour disputes

If you experience any damage to your property which you believe has been caused by overgrown vegetation you would deal with this yourself as a civil matter. Advice on this, and on neighbour disputes is available from Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 and also from Citizens Advice Scotland on 0800 028 1456.

High hedges

A high hedge is:

  • a hedge that is formed wholly or mainly by a row of two or more trees or shrubs
  • a hedge that rises to a height of more than two metres above ground level
  • one that forms a barrier to light

Find out more about high hedges and how to apply for a high hedge notice.


Page last updated:
14 Dec 2020

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