The City of Winnipeg is hoping to clean up messy neighbourhoods by targeting residents who leave their properties in a state of disrepair.

Enforcement of the city’s neighbourhood livability bylaw is increasing. In 2012, the city ticketed 459 people for messy properties, 70 more than were handed out in 2011.

Douglas Kuny recently moved into his home in the William Whyte area. He said he takes pride in keeping his home tidy and hopes others in the neighbourhood will also.

"We’ve slowly been fixing it up, and now with hard work and money, we’ve made it into a pretty nice place," said Kuny.

North End activist Sel Burrows said attitudes like Kuny’s and the increased enforcement is making a big difference in his neighbourhood.

"If you’ve got garbage thrown in the backlane, broken windows, eavestroughs falling off, your community looks like a slum," said Burrows.

The city can ticket residents for things like broken windows, chipping paint or garbage piling up.

"If we have a yard, or premise, cluttered with excessive amounts of garbage, that can be fire hazards, arson hazards, that can create an environment for vermin," said Peter de Graaf, with the city’s bylaw enforcement division.

Burrows said targeting unsightly properties is improving neighbourhoods. The nicer things look, said Burrows, the more people want to live there.

Winnipeggers can report bylaw infractions by calling 311.