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HCPH investigates complaints that may violate the Texas Neighborhood Nuisance Abatement Act, a law intended to eliminate public nuisances in unincorporated areas of Texas. Examples of neighborhood nuisances include accumulated rubbish, standing water, conditions that harbor insects and rodents, abandoned swimming pools, high weeds and dilapidated structures. Following an investigation that results in a nuisance notification, a property owner or occupant has thirty days to eliminate the nuisance. Failure to comply can result in civil action or criminal prosecution.
Public nuisances are grouped into six (6) categories:
- Keeping, storing or accumulating refuse on premises in a neighborhood unless the refuse is entirely contained in an enclosed receptacle.
- Keeping, storing, or accumulating rubbish or any unused, discarded or abandoned object, including newspapers, vehicles, tires and cans on premises in a neighborhood for ten days or more, unless the rubbish or object is completely enclosed within a building or is not visible from a public street.
- Maintaining premises in a manner that creates an unsanitary condition likely to attract or harbor mosquitoes, rodents, vermin or disease-carrying pests.
- Allowing weeds to grow on premises in a neighborhood if such weeds are located within 300 feet of another residence or commercial establishment.
- Maintaining a building in a manner that is structurally unsafe or constitutes a hazard to safety, health or public welfare because of inadequate maintenance, unsanitary condition, dilapidation, obsolescence, fire hazard, disaster, or abandonment.
- Maintaining a swimming pool or unoccupied property in a neighborhood that is not protected with a fence that is at least four feet high and that has a latched gate that cannot be opened by a child, or protected by a cover over the entire swimming pool that cannot be removed by a child.
Neighborhood Nuisance Abatement Act Brochure