Foreclosed and Abandoned Properties

As you drive through Lake Oswego and you see a property with high grass and overgrown shrubs, have you ever wondered:  “Wow, what’s happening with that property?  Where are the property owners?  Are the property owners complying with City codes?  What does the City or neighbors do when this happens?” These are good questions with many possible answers.

Report Vegetation over 10 Inches

When vegetation is allowed to grow taller than 10 inches in height, it may be reported to the Lake Oswego Police Department’s non-emergency line at 503-635-0238 as a nuisance complaint.  When you call to report a violation, please have the address of the property handy.

A Police Department Community Services Officer will stop by the home and speak with the occupants about mowing the grass.  Most of the time, the conversation leads to a successful resolution within a few weeks.

At other times, the home may be vacant and circumstances may exist that result in high grass complaints taking weeks or months to resolve.  These circumstances often include the unclear or undecided ownership of property and/or difficulty in reaching property owners often due to:

  • Probate proceedings due to the death of the property owner; or,
  • Abandonment of property during foreclosure proceedings.

It is important to note that while City staff are addressing the nuisance, the grass continues to grow and no change at all has occurred at the property.  Please do not assume that action is not occurring on your complaint just because you do not see a change at the property. 

It is unfortunate when a home is left vacant and not cared for.  Often it is the result of financial loss or a loss of a family member, creating difficult circumstances for all parties.  As work is done to resolve the impact of these properties on the neighbors, reporting of the house of concern and patience are appreciated.

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