Can you be Fined for not Mowing Your Lawn? (The Consequences)

A well-maintained lawn may ignite a sense of pride in you. However, it may invite trouble if not maintained appropriately. A poorly maintained law may attract legal penalties. It’s crucial to keep your lawn trimmed, preventing it from overgrowing. 

In some cities, you should avoid letting the grass reach a height of over 8 inches. An overgrown lawn is considered a violation of the law. You may end up paying a fine for not mowing the lawn and maintaining it as per the guidelines. below I have explained the topic “can you be fined for not mowing your lawn?” in more details.

Can you be fined for not mowing your lawn? everything you should know.

Can you be fined for not mowing your lawn?

Yes, you can be fined for not mowing your lawn. Any unmowed, overgrown lawn brings in insects, mosquitoes, and pests and can become a breeding ground for them soon. This situation may further pave the way for various diseases, endangering your life and that of your neighbors. 

The situation may further escalate, creating a health concern among your neighbors and triggering someone to complain to the authorities about your overgrown lawn. 

Legally, you have to limit the grass height to 8 inches maximum. A lawn longer than 8 inches is a violation of the law that requires you to pay up in city fees for neglecting the issue and not mowing the grass in time.

The amount may be in the range of $500 or more. The ruling applies if you are physically fit and financially settled. In some other cities, the fine may go up to $1,000, $10,000, or even $50,000.

However, if you politely commit to taking corrective action and mowing your lawn immediately, you might get a waiver on the fine or a discount on it.

City ordinance grass height

While most cities in the U.S. limit the grass height to 8 inches, a few cities allow it to be 10 inches or 12 inches high. However, residents look at this casually and fail to mow the grass. This situation compels the authorities to hire grass-mowing contractors to mow overgrown lawns. The authorities impose this cost of lawn mowing on the property owners.

City ordinance grass height

The authorities impose a lien on the property if the lawn owner is unable to pay or refuses to pay the mowing plus administrative costs. Unless the liens are paid, the transfer of land ownership is put on hold by the concerned authorities.

Why is it illegal to not mow your lawn?

Overgrown tall grass may be the reason for breeding insects and pests. The government units and the neighborhood perceive this as negligence on your part to maintain a healthy and tidy environment. They will look upon you as a culprit responsible for originating various diseases due to an unmowed lawn. 

Government units are responsible for maintaining a healthy environment and may take cognizance if any neighbor or Home Owners’ Association notifies them about your overgrown lawn. Since being responsible for spreading diseases is a violation of the law, an unmowed lawn is considered illegal.

Why is it illegal to not mow your lawn

The United States Supreme Court in 1954 gave a ruling concerning mowing regulations that mentions: “It is within the power of the legislature to determine that the community should be beautiful.” 

As per the government’s definition, “beautiful” means the grass is trimmed short. Furthermore, a link has already been established between well-maintained lawns and citizens’ safety and health.

Can you report someone for not mowing their lawn?

Yes, you can report a lawn that hasn’t been mowed by anyone in your neighborhood to the authorities. You have the right to complain about an unmowed lawn for your own health and safety concerns. Typically, your city or HOA implements the law concerning lawn maintenance.

Before that, you can politely request that they mow their lawn and inform them of the consequences if they do not. You can even offer to help them mow their lawn if the homeowner is unable to do so.

Can you report someone for not mowing their lawn

If the homeowner remains adamant and ignores your suggestion, you are free to lodge a complaint with the HOA or the government units and follow up on the process.

The laws may differ as per the city, but there are high chances of having an ordinance in place that covers lawn maintenance and makes provisions for a penalty if the grass is taller than the allowed height.

You can also file a complaint online, based on the city where you live. 

Other Mowing Related Article You May Find Useful: Why Is My Lawn Mower Spitting Out Grass? | How To Get Whipworms Out of The Yard?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you get fined for not mowing your lawn in NJ?

Yes, you may be fined for not mowing your lawn in NJ. The amount aims to be in the range of $1,500 per day.

How tall can grass be in Madison, WI?

The city of Madison, WI, allows grass height to be under 8 inches. Any lawn owner who violates this rule may attract a hefty fine. However, natural lawns are exempted from this regulation.

How tall can your grass be in Texas?

In Texas, you must limit your grass height to a maximum of 3 inches. However, in summer, you can grow it up to 4 inches.

What height should I cut my grass in Wisconsin?

You need to cut the grass between 21/2 and 31/2 inches in Wisconsin.


A lawn in your yard is a place that needs proper maintenance. You need to mow the grass frequently, to keep away insects and pests and for an aesthetic appearance.

However, if you fail to maintain your lawn appropriately and the grass grows at a height that violates the permitted proportion, you may face legal consequences. Your neighbors may exercise their rights to complain to the HOA, city authorities, or even the police.

Therefore, before you are slapped with any legal notices concerning your lawn, it’s advisable to take care of your lawn beforehand and keep it tidy and pleasant looking. I hope you got the answer for can you be fined for not mowing your lawn or not.

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