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Oakville property standards and related by-laws strengthened with new rules 

With the help of public feedback, the Town of Oakville has updated property standards, lot maintenance and division fence regulations in Oakville. The Property Standards By-law 2023-074 and the Division Fence By-law 2023-076 are effective immediately and the Lot Maintenance By-Law 2023-075 will come into effect on July 10, 2023.

The property standards and lot maintenance by-laws set minimum standards for the upkeep of buildings, yards and properties in Oakville for the promotion of health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare of residents. The division fence by-law regulates how the cost of fences located along the property line should be split between adjoining property owners.

Here are some of the new rules under the Property Standards By-law 2023-074 and the Lot Maintenance By-Law 2023-075, which require property owners to:

  • provide heat of at least 20 degrees Celsius for tenants in rental homes from September 1 to June 15 unless the thermostat can be controlled by the tenant in the rental unit.
  • ensure their outdoor lighting is not aimed or located in a way that shines light directly into the interior of neighbouring properties regardless of whether the properties have shades, drapes or other interior window coverings.
  • remove a dead tree, or part of a tree that is dead, decayed or damaged, that may be hazardous to persons or property. 
  • maintain grass, weeds, and vegetation on adjoining boulevard(s) so they do not grow higher than 20 cm.
  • keep adjoining boulevard(s) free and clear of waste.
  • keep naturalized areas to backyards areas. The naturalized area should only cover up to a maximum of 25 per cent of the backyard space.  
  • keep their property free of kite fighting string. 

Specific language requiring all openings in vacant buildings to be closed and secured from unauthorized entry by using wood sheathing, metal sheathing or brick or concrete block has also been added and the definition of “waste” has been broadened to include excess accumulation of unused or unusable material. The division fence by-law has also been updated to better outline what the basic costs are that property owners should share, such as the value of materials used for constructing, reconstructing, or repairing a fence and the applicable taxes, when the by-law applies and who is responsible for the cost of repairs when the fence is damaged. 

Enforcing the rules

MES officers will continue to work with property owners to comply with the property standards rules and related bylaws. However, if property owners do not voluntarily comply, progressive enforcement measures can be used, and officers can issue a ticket fining people between $300 and $500 if a person is found violating the Lot Maintenance By-law 2023-075 (starting July 10) and between $500 and $1,000 if a person is found violating the Property Standards By-law 2023-074 (effective immediately). The town also has the ability to issue a court summons for more serious offences and repeat offenders. 

For a full list of what has been updated, review the Property Standards Lot Maintenance Division Fence Staff Report and Appendix A through G.


To learn more about by-laws and enforcement, visit oakville.ca

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