ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — If one neighbor in a community brings down the aesthetic of the area by not mowing their lawn, you may be thinking of doing it for them. Before doing so, one thing to consider is whether it’s actually legal to mow your neighbor’s lawn just because you think it looks ugly.

Some would suggest speaking with your neighbor before beginning to mow, and asking if they would tend to their own yard. In some cases, mowing without permission on their property could be constituted as trespassing.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, trespassing is when, “Without authority, he or she knowingly enters or remains within any residence, including a house trailer that is the dwelling place of another.

Trespassing can be both a criminal or civil matter depending on the situation. Under the Illinois Criminal Code, trespass is a misdemeanor. This can get you 30 days to 6 months in jail, and a maximum $500 fine.

Another issue that may arise is with the Homeowners Association (HOA), if you live within one. Perhaps explaining to a neighbor they could be breaking the HOA code will encourage them to do something about their overgrown brush.

Overall, it can be considered rude, and in some cases illegal, to mow a neighbor’s yard without permission even if you think it looks ugly in Illinois.