Property Standards By-law Summary

Below is a brief excerpt from the City of Markham’s Property Standards By-law.  For more detailed information please visit the City’s By-law Guide for Markham Homeowners (see Related Links for By-law Guide topics).

If more information is required call the By-law Enforcement and Licensing Department at  905-479-7782 or email (or by phone 905-477-5530).


Property Standards By-law Summary

Markham’s beautiful neighbourhoods are a source of pride for residents. The Property Standards By-law (248-1999) ensures that owners properly maintain their homes and properties so that our neighbourhoods will always be attractive, safe and healthy places in which to live. These rules apply to both owned and rented dwellings.

What You Must Know

The yard around every home must be kept neat and tidy, and free of garbage or anything that might cause a health or safety danger. The earth must be covered with either grass and plants or a covering that is designed to stop the soil from blowing or draining away. Grass must be trimmed to grow no higher than 15 cm (6”). Trees and bushes must also be kept trimmed and tidy.

  • If you have a hedge, or row of bushes, it must be located in a way that is safe for people walking or driving by. Hedges, trimmed to less than 1 m (3’) high, are allowed anywhere on your property.


  • Working appliances, such as refrigerators and freezers, may be stored outside only on a porch or deck, and must be securely locked. You must also remove any self-latching or self-locking feature that might cause a small child to become trapped inside.


  • Fences, gates and retaining walls need to be free of barbed wire, and must not be built in a location where they might pose a hazard to people walking or driving past. Fences, detached garages and all accessory buildings must be structurally sound. See Fences By-law Summary, for more information about creating fences.


  • Vehicles, such as cars, trucks or motorcycles that are not in working condition can’t be stored on a driveway. You may use the driveway to do repairs to a single vehicle that you own, but while it is parked there it must not be used for storage of any kind. See Extended Driveways By-law Summary and Noise By-law Summary for more information about driveways and vehicles.


  • Outside lights must be kept within the boundaries of your yard and in a safe, working condition. Security lights, of no more than 100 watts, must be shielded. Make sure all your lights do not shine directly into neighbouring properties.


  • All walkways (including public paths across your property), driveways, stairs or ramps, patios, decks, and parking areas must be well kept with no holes or uneven spots. If they are commonly used at night they must be well lit; if commonly used during the winter, they must have snow and ice cleared from them. For both safety and ease of access in an emergency, all snow and ice must also be cleared from hydrants located on your property.

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