Spring is back. In this spring season, the beautiful days arrive, the temperatures rise and nature takes back its rights. The perfect opportunity to do gardening and maintain the lawn and plants at home.
For those who have a garden around their house, now is the time to give your lawn a facelift. But, it happens that around your home, weeds have invaded the ground. If it is your duty to remove its pests with natural and effective products, at a certain time of the day, what about those on the sidewalk in front of your house?
In order to take stock of this particular situation, French law first stipulates that cities have an obligation to maintain municipal roads. “Expenses for the maintenance of communal roads are part of the compulsory expenses borne by the communes”, can we read in article L141-8 of the Highway Code. This also includes the maintenance of the sidewalks in your municipality, and therefore in front of your home.
In a response published in the Official Journal of the Senate, May 16, 2016, the Ministry of the Interior confirms the burden imposed on the municipality for maintenance. “The competence in terms of roads is exercised over the entire right-of-way of the way, made up not only of the roadway but also of its dependencies. The latter include the accessory elements necessary or essential for the support or protection of said road, including sidewalks”.
In other words, everything indicates that your city must remove the weeds that litter the cobblestones and sidewalks of your street. But, in certain specific cases, the town hall of your city can order you to weed your sidewalk on your own. On what terms?
According to a decision of the Council of State, rendered on October 15, 1980 by the Ministry of the Interior, “administrative case law has recognized the possibility for the mayor to prescribe by decree to local residents to clean the sidewalk located in front of their dwelling”. However, the JO of the Senate dated October 20, 2016 indicates that “there is no obligation in principle for residents to clean the sidewalk in front of their home”, as also relayed by Ouest-France.
However, weeding can cause conflict between neighbours. If one of them maintains his garden poorly (or not at all), the municipality can also intervene. According to the litigation.fr site, we learn that “the owner’s common law liability may be incurred if the conditions of article 1240 of the Civil Code are met”. And according to article L 2213-25 of the General Code of Local Authorities, “if an owner leaves his garden abandoned, the mayor can issue an order enjoining him to carry out work, or else have the work carried out at the expense of the owner”. Thus, these solutions will make your daily life easier to maintain your land.