By-law Enforcement

Frequently Asked Questions
By-law Enforcement

Q: My landlord says he doesn’t have to fix the house because it was in this condition when I rented it. Is this true?
A: No. All property in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake must be maintained to the MINIMUM standards as set out in the by-law. A tenant is responsible for the normal cleanliness of the area he/she occupies. The owner of a property is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building and yards.

Q: Can I cut the branches of my neighbor’s tree if they overhang my property?
A: This is not covered by municipal by-law. The rule of thumb is that you may cut branches that overhang onto your property as long as you don’t damage the tree. If the tree is damaged you could be liable for the cost of replacement.

Q: How high can my fence be?
A: Fences may be up to 2.0 meters in height in the side and rear yards and 1.0 meters in height in the front yard. If you live on a corner lot or have your driveway or your neighbor’s driveway along the fence, please call the By-Law Department for more information.

Q: Can you make my neighbor cut his grass?
A: Grass and weeds that are over 8 inches high must be cut. When a complaint is received the owner of the property is notified that they have a specific amount of time to cut the grass. The by-law requires a minimum of 72 hours be given to complete the work but normally 5 days are given. If the grass is not cut, the Town will have a contractor cut the grass and a bill will be sent to the owner of the property or the cost will be added to the taxes.

Q: How big can my B&B sign be?
A: The only sign permitted that says Bed and Breakfast is the Town sign. A private residence may erect a home identification sign with a maximum size of 0.2 square meters or 2.0 square feet. No other signs are permitted in residential areas.