CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They’re ugly, they’re dangerous, and we’re all paying for them.

The Defenders team investigated neglected properties that turn into eyesores around the Queen City. Violations range from grass growing out of control to garbage piling up. Starting this year, if you’re a culprit, the city is coming after you with bigger penalties.

The Defenders team is highlighting some of the worst cases, including 20 violations in a year. If that’s you, get ready to pay up. NBC Charlotte obtained 311 calls of people complaining about their neighbors.

“The garbage cans are running over,” one caller said.

“Cars are everywhere, like junk cars,” said another caller.

The Defenders team also highlighted a property with repeated violations.

“It’s kind of depressing,” neighbor John Laney told NBC Charlotte. “What can you do?”

The city is doing something new. Starting this year, a fourth violation will cost you $250 and then a $500 fine for each violation after that.

The Defenders team looked into city numbers and found more than 2,000 property owners had at least three violations in 2017. More than 900 offenders had repeat violations on the same property.

City officials said the property near John Laney ranked in the top five with more than 20 violations last year. NBC Charlotte told Laney about the city’s new tougher fines.

“I think it’ll bring awareness to the homeowners,” said Laney.

“It’s a safety issue, it’s a sanitary condition issue,” said Ben Krise, code enforcement division manager for the city of Charlotte.

It’s also a financial issue, because if nothing is done, city services sometimes clean up the mess.

“If we have continued violations over and over and over, then the taxpayers’ dollars are being utilized for us to manage individually or corporate owned properties,” Krise said.

“Everyone should take a little pride in their own home,” said Laney.

There’s also an increase for most other violations from $50 to $150.