If you don't know, find out who the property owner is. If you are willing to help your neighbor, you will need the property owner's explicit permission to take action -- even if acting as a Good Samaritan. You can use the PWC County Mapper Program on the County's website to figure out who the property owner is, or call Neighborhood Services at 703-792-7018 and we can help.
Then, find out more about the situation to see if volunteering to help your neighbor makes better sense than filing a complaint with the County. In cases where Neighborhood Services has become involved in, a number of events can lead to Property Code concerns. Examples we see every year include:
A health issue has made the resident incapable of caring for their property;
the resident was deployed overseas in the military;
the head of the household or usual home keeper is away on a special assignment for work or is at a family event and was unaware of the issue;
sometimes even the best yard care tools break down and a normally diligent resident gets overwhelmed trying to catch up;
in other cases the property has become abandoned for a variety of reasons, and the responsible party is unable to provide regular care.
Often the quickest and most positive solutions in complex cases like these occur when neighbors get together, determine the causes of the property code nuisance and offer to help.
The positive results that come from neighbors helping neighbors (such as pitching in to take care of a neglected or abandoned property) are many.
The bottom line is that we are all responsible for the condition of the residential lots we live in, which is why the County will use legal action if necessary to force compliance to Property Codes if a resident simply refuses to help. If the County is forced to take care of a property when an owner is uncooperative, it is no small thing. It will be very costly for the violator compared to what voluntary compliance would cost. This could result in legal action against the property owner.
Lastly, Property Code Enforcement is indeed proven to be effective for communities and taking care of unreasonably tall grass and weeds is no exception. Neighborhood Services is always eager to help to the extent that we are able.
But sometimes the result the neighborhood needs can be achieved much more quickly through neighbor-to-neighbor help.
What's the Big Deal About Weeds?