Property Nuisances

Property Nuisances

Common Property Nuisances

Like most thriving communities, Stillwater has local rules and legislation to promote safety and repair of property. Over the years, some violations have been identified by inspectors as being those most often cited in complaints.

  • Accessory Structures

    • All accessory structures, including garages, sheds, fences, retaining walls and swimming pools must be properly maintained and in good working condition.

  • Garbage & Debris

    • Litter and debris cannot collect and remain on a property. Typical violations involve broken or dilapidated furniture, household products, construction materials, and other unsightly or unsanitary items.

  • House Maintenance

    • Typical house structure violations include broken windows, roof and gutter problems, missing wall siding, and peeling paint.

  • Inoperable/Unlicensed Vehicles

    • Motor vehicles or trailers that are not operable and/or not properly tagged may not be kept on a property.

  • Mold

    • There are no current regulations or limits on mold, and Oklahoma does not have an agency with jurisdiction over mold. Information on mold and mold abatement can be found at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality at:

  • Overgrowth

    • Grass, weeds and brush may be considered a nuisance if they are higher than 12 inches and if they pose a health, safety or welfare issue. 

  • Unsafe Structures (Rundown/Dilapidated Buildings)

    • An unsafe building is a structure (or part of a structure or a premises) that is a danger to public safety because it is open, dilapidated or vacant. Buildings may not be boarded up for more than 36 months.

  • Trash & Recycle Carts

    • Cart lids must be closed completely. Overfilled carts will not be emptied.

    • Carts may be rolled to the street for pick-up the night before.

    • Remove carts from curbside once garbage has been collected.

  • Temporary Signs 

    • Temporary signs (campaign signs, real estate signs, garage sale signs, balloons, parking bumpers and any other similar freestanding sign or advertising device) may not be placed on public property, including city parks, public structures, traffic signs, utility poles and bus shelters.

    • People may not place temporary signs on private property without the property owners' permission.

    • Oklahoma law does not allow for temporary signs along state highways, which means no signs are allowed on sidewalks or in the space between the curb and the sidewalk. In Stillwater, the state highways are S.H. 51 and U.S. 177.

    • The requirements for the types and location of signs, and for licensing of sign contractors and issuance of sign permits, is contained in Article 7 of the Stillwater Land Development Code (Chapter 23).

Reporting your concerns

Residents may report property maintenance concerns two ways. The name of the person filing the complaint is not reported to the property owner.

Code Enforcement's goal is to review reported concerns within one or two business days; however, due to the notification process, the appeal process and the legal process, the possible violation may not be resolved quickly.

Preferred methods of contact

  • Call the Property Maintenance Action Line: (405) 742-8383

  • Report & Track. This interactive tool that allows you to alert the City of a problem in your neighborhood or around town and follow up on it. Reports submitted during non-office hours will be reviewed and assigned to a city staffer the next business day.

What happens when a violation is reported?

Our goal is to encourage both owners and tenants to voluntarily correct any violations. When a violation is reported, we open a complaint and work toward resolving the violation through a process of education, inspection and notices. In most cases, the person responsible for a violation is given an opportunity to voluntarily comply with the law and correct the situation.

What happens when a violation is not corrected?

Each violation has a set of enforcement procedures and time limit for compliance. However, if the violation is not corrected in the time allowed, the City may allow additional time for an education process and additional notices to resolve the violation. The property owner may also file an appeal, which also takes time. After which, the City has two enforcement options (both of which takes time):

  • Abatement: In a typical case, the City will hire a private contractor to mow, to demolish or board and secure a structure or to clean a property of junk and debris—with the property owner being bill by the City for the contractor's services, legal services and more. If need be, a tax lien may be placed on the property to cover the costs.

  • Judicial Remedies: Failure to correct violations can result in fines of as much as $549 per day for each violation, depending on the violation.


Property owners have the option to begin an appeal process. The first step is completing the Property Maintenance Board Appeal Application.

Who issues citations?

Code Enforcement, a division of the Stillwater Police Department, issues citations for structural and non-structural related property maintenance, which includes nuisance violations such as  inoperable vehicles, trash, littering and tall weeds and grass.

Code Enforcement does not enforce homeowner association (HOA) rules or make judgements concerning aesthetics. Citations are issued to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Stillwater residents.

Why we care

Most homeowners take great pride in their property and make diligent efforts to maintain every aspect of their home. The collective efforts of homeowners have a significant impact on the desirability of a community. When one property falls into disrepair or fails to meet local codes, it has a negative impact on adjacent homes and creates issues that affect residents' health, safety and welfare.

In most cases, the property owner will remedy the issue after being contacted by the City. If the property owner does not remedy the issue in a timely manner, the City can initiate legal action.


Content last reviewed 06.09.2022