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When you Should Contact your Local Environmental Health Department

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 21 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Air Quality Environmental Health

If you have already read a number of articles contained on this website, you will have begun to realise that your local authority’s environmental health department covers a vast remit and they often your first port of call if you are experiencing problems with your neighbours or within the community as a whole.

It can be far quicker to obtain a resolution if you contact your environmental health department first as opposed to calling the police when dealing with many neighbourhood issues. In fact, in most instances, even if you call the police, they might refer you back to the environmental health department first. Here are the many issues that the environmental health department would deal with:

Air Quality

If your enjoyment of your own property is being affected by a Neighbour’s Bonfire or barbecue or if an industrial chimney is causing a problem.

Contaminated Land

Where you suspect that chemicals or associated materials have polluted either a water supply or have contaminated land.

Dangerous Dogs

If you have a problem with a Dangerous Or Nuisance Dog in your area or you have been attacked or been threatened by an attack from a dog. You’d also contact the department if you're concerned about persistent dog fouling outside your house or on local parks.

Food Standards

If you are concerned about the hygiene of a particular business which is manufacturing and/or selling food or drink to the public, or you have suffered a health problem as a result of eating suspected contaminated food.

Noise Levels

If you are suffering from the effects of Excessive Noise as the result of a neighbour’s party, loud music, a nearby factory or some other kind of business which is generating excessive noise or if you have an Incessantly Barking Dog in the neighbourhood.

Pest Control

If your own home or a nearby property has been plagued by pests which could be anything from a wasps’ nest to rodent control.

Flytipping

If flytipping has occurred on your street or if you suspect a neighbour to be guilty of flytipping elsewhere.

Graffiti and Flyposting

If graffiti or flyposting is happening in your area, your environmental health department will also deal with this.

Litter

If a neighbour is guilty of not disposing of their household waste correctly, or if you are experiencing a lot of litter on your property or street as the result of a business nearby.

Of course, in many of these instances, the problem can often be resolved by speaking to the relevant neighbour or nearby business first. However, if you’re unable to obtain a satisfactory resolution to a particular problem from the person(s) involved, or you don’t know who might be responsible for causing the problem, then all of the above fall under the jurisdiction of your local authority’s environmental health department. They have the powers and the weight of the law behind them to begin an investigation and to enforce a resolution, be that through the courts, if necessary.

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Dealing With Infestation.

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[Add a Comment]
GDPRer - Your Question:
My elderly uncle is blind in one eye and has early dementia. He lives in a 4 in a block home on his own which he owns. Shared access pathway runs past his neighbours door to his. They are blocking this pathway with bins to restrict his access effectively blocking his right of way to his own home. Have taken a legal approach before but they ignore lawyers letter & trguse to attend mediation. Any suggestions?

Our Response:
The next step after legal letters and mediation is court but if they've so far ignored everything else that might have the same effect. Can any other neighbours help? Perhaps by moving the guilty neighbour's bin for your uncle etc?We really can't think of anything else that he could try unless he and the neighbours are housing association or council tenants, in which case go straight to the housing officer and demand action is taken.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Jun-18 @ 12:25 PM
My elderly uncle is blind in one eye and has early dementia. He lives in a 4 in a block home on his own which he owns. Shared access pathway runs past his neighbours door to his. They are blocking this pathway with bins to restrict his access effectively blocking his right of way to his own home. Have taken a legal approach before but they ignore lawyers letter & trguse to attend mediation. Any suggestions?
GDPRer - 5-Jun-18 @ 1:23 PM
Mich87 - Your Question:
A neighbour cat keeps fooling in my garden and my son loves going in the garden but at the moment we’ve had to stop him. We’ve spoken to the person and they don’t seem to care or want to clean up after their own cats mess.

Our Response:
Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about this as unlike dogs, cats have complete freedom to roam. The usual cat deterrents are probably your best option. See the final section in our guide here for some suggestions.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Jun-18 @ 11:47 AM
A neighbour cat keeps fooling in my garden and my son loves going in the garden but at the moment we’ve had to stop him. We’ve spoken to the person and they don’t seem to care or want to clean up after their own cats mess.
Mich87 - 3-Jun-18 @ 1:49 PM
Sj - Your Question:
My neighbour moved in Feb 17 at first she was brilliant. She told me how her last address she had a rat problem that the landlord refused to deal with and the neighbours constantly got on her case about noise. She was so quiet I thought poor girl. Now she has been in the property 12 month and everything has changed. The back garden is constantly strewn with rubbish. Her bbq is filled with food from last bank holiday Monday. My cat is constantly bringing rats into the house. I have made her aware of a dead bird that is hanging out of her facia board under her gutter. This has been here for several months now and is rotting, smelling and causing flies. The neighbour herself is not a noisy neighbour, our walls are wafer thin so we can here everything. But this we have to deal with but when she has a few drinks or comes back from the night clubs she brings back at least 3 taxis full of drunken ppl who are extremely loud and boisterous sometimes violent and very intimidating to the point that at half past 5 on sat 19th morning I had to ring 999 as when I asked the ppl to stay quiet they all threatened me. The threats and jeers carried on till way on to tea time. They were drinking and doing drugs in her back garden when I had kids playing in the back garden. I have kept the police upto date and they have told me to notify environmental health but Im not sure how to go about it.

Our Response:
Find the number of your local council using this guide - and ask for environmental health. Explain what you've told us above and also that the police advised you to notify them.
ProblemNeighbours - 21-May-18 @ 3:40 PM
My neighbour moved in Feb 17 at first she was brilliant.She told me how her last address she had a rat problem that the landlord refused to deal with and the neighbours constantly got on her case about noise.She was so quiet I thought poor girl.Now she has been in the property 12 month and everything has changed.The back garden is constantly strewn with rubbish.Her bbq is filled with food from last bank holiday Monday.My cat is constantly bringing rats into the house.I have made her aware of a dead bird that is hanging out of her facia board under her gutter.This has been here for several months now and is rotting, smelling and causing flies.The neighbour herself is not a noisy neighbour, our walls are wafer thin so we can here everything.But this we have to deal with but when she has a few drinks or comes back from the night clubs she brings back at least 3 taxis full of drunken ppl who are extremely loud and boisterous sometimes violent and very intimidating to the point that at half past 5 on sat 19th morning I had to ring 999 as when I asked the ppl to stay quiet they all threatened me.The threats and jeers carried on till way on to tea time.They were drinking and doing drugs in her back garden when I had kids playing in the back garden.I have kept the police upto date and they have told me to notify environmental health but Im not sure how to go about it.
Sj - 21-May-18 @ 11:42 AM
Because it is difficult for people to purchase their own homes, they are forced to rent property.This causes an added problem to that of neighbours who form a neighbourhood because tenants are transient and often do not care about the area nor the people of that area, for they know they do not have to stay there. There are a lot of very bad neighbours around.Very selfish people who consider themselves rather than other people - but the law is there to help.If you are having problems with a bad neighbour, first ask them to stop what they are doing as it is causing you some stress and affects your own life. Make sure you make and keep a diary of all the annoyances they make. Be confident that you are not being unreasonable - that is, why should you suffer because of someone else - If your request fails to do anything - drop the offender a letter, stating that you have asked them to stop and nothing has been done, and that you have no alternative other than to bring a private prosecution.You will find advice on the internet and sample letters to send.Follow that.It is easy, most of these cases, I believe are free.
Marvel - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:25 PM
We live in a Semi-detached and in the past year or so, two lunatics have moved in next door to us.We had to speak to them about a very noisy party that they had, and so far they have been quiet since.Well, that is apart from the fact that they belong to that looney club of football fanatics!Several times when I have been sitting in my living room, very quietly as I have chosen not to have a TV - I have jumped out of my skin when both the neighbours suddenly shout or scream for the match they are watching.This is possibly three or four times a week.But - I know that they are imbeciles and that there is nothing much you can do about that, but I also know that a match only lasts for about an hour or so, and since they did agree to keep the noise down with their friends - I will let them have their fun!I guess that 3am may upset me, but if it was the once in a blue moon and the guy had warned beforehand - I would not worry about it.Now living next door to five kids - that would be painful - especially if the parents allowed their offspring to be feral.If they complain to your landlord - just tell him that they are being unreasonable.You have lived there for four years and not had a complaint before and you have not changed.
Marvel - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:04 PM
My neighbors have so much junk not only in there backyard but also in there front yard and I keep seeing large rats on top of there house as well as running across the brick wall that is shared between our properties. I keep a clean house and yard and don’t want rats where I live
Lynn - 10-Apr-18 @ 3:20 AM
Go toenvironmental health **
Brunette<3 - 9-Apr-18 @ 9:47 PM
Hi Last week I had my neighbour knock on my door he told me that he is reporting me to my landlord because my girlfriends brother and myself watch the football at our home. Week before last it was a big football match on a Saturday and we was 2-0 down and then bounced back up, there was a lot of swearing and cheering extra which you would expect from regular football fans. However apparently the noise is so bad we are waking up kids at 3am which I really can’t see happening unless people live in our walls! We have been here 4 years we got a puppy 2 years ago at first they was complaining about her little barks at night but now she is calm and makes no noise, she is also aChihuahua so definitely not a dangerous dog. They are a family with 5 children and we hear them constantly. We do not complain! I really can not see what grounds they have to go toenvironmental health over us! The garden is a bit untidy at the moment but that would be sorted out soon as summer is coming . They have never been inside my house so have no reason to question that! I don’t know where they have a leg to stand on here or was he just trying to scare me? He even said he is contacting my landlord. I’m pretty sure that it would need to be over a cause of time but we have had no problems over the last 4 years apart from the odd yap from the dog, it was just from me watching the football and my sports and the odd swear word and cheering during the day. I can’t see how they do not get any sleep because of us we have not changed anything over the last 4 years so I really don’t know where all of this has come from. Can anyone help?
Brunette<3 - 9-Apr-18 @ 9:44 PM
Rob - Your Question:
I have recently purchased a flat in pagham, and since I have moved in I have noticed the communal bin area is in such a disgusting state that I don’t like to go near the area. There is clear signs on flytyping, and rubbish everywhere out on the floor. I have a number of times try to clear it up but with the number of users my efforts are not helping. A main issue would be that the bin lids get left open by the rubbish men, if I don’t close them myself no one else does and as a results seagulls fly down and rip the bags and chuck all the contents around the area. There is a Chinese takeaway in the same complex which leads to health concerns and rodents are most likely attracted to the area. I have been told to contact my EHO but wouldn’t know the rite way of going about this. Is there any advise I can get to resolve this matter? It really makes the purchase feel like a bad choice

Our Response:
Pagham is part of Arun District Council. The contact information is as follows:
email: Environmental.health@arun.gov.uk or call 01903 737755
or email: cleansing@arun.gov.uk
You could also try yourlocal councillorshere
ProblemNeighbours - 28-Mar-18 @ 12:56 PM
I have recently purchased a flat in pagham, and since I have moved in I have noticed the communal bin area is in such a disgusting state that I don’t like to go near the area. There is clear signs on flytyping, and rubbish everywhere out on the floor. I have a number of times try to clear it up but with the number of users my efforts are not helping. A main issue would be that the bin lids get left open by the rubbish men, if I don’t close them myself no one else does and as a results seagulls fly down and rip the bags and chuck all the contents around the area. There is a Chinese takeaway in the same complex which leads to health concerns and rodents are most likely attracted to the area. I have been told to contact my EHO but wouldn’t know the rite way of going about this. Is there any advise I can get to resolve this matter? It really makes the purchase feel like a bad choice
Rob - 26-Mar-18 @ 6:39 PM
Kim - Your Question:
We own our home. And have tenants liveing next door. They have 5 small kids and make so much noise. Screaming and shouting from 5 am most days all day to 7 or 8 at night. We have spoken to council and they fitted noise equipment most days 30 to 40 db and 30 to 55 at weekends. And came back to us as it's a lot of noise but not enough to be anti social behaviour. We have had soundproofingfitted to help but as they grow so does the levels What can we do. Landlady not interested.Thanks Kim

Our Response:
Did environmental health offer you any advice on what you could do, even if they couldn't take action under existing legislation? Have you tried talking to the neighbours or dropping them a note? See our letter templates for help with this. You could try a private civil action if the noise is persistently at the higher levels you suggest.
ProblemNeighbours - 14-Mar-18 @ 12:22 PM
We own our home . And have tenants liveing next door . They have 5 small kids and make so much noise.Screaming and shouting from 5 am most days all day to 7 or 8 at night . We have spoken to council and they fitted noise equipment most days 30 to 40 db and 30 to 55 at weekends . And came back to us as it's a lot of noise but not enough to be anti social behaviour. We have had soundproofingfitted to help but as they grow so does the levels What can we do . Landlady not interested . Thanks Kim
Kim - 12-Mar-18 @ 2:11 AM
My neighbour insists on emptying her cat litter tray in our shared front garden, there is cat litter and cat poo everywhere. Despite our efforts to resolve this civilly, they continue to do so, and have started to bang the tray against the wall to empty the last bits, leaving trails of cat litter on our brickwork now. What can we do, is this illegal?
wazLuque - 7-Mar-18 @ 8:00 PM
My neighbour has no idea about disposal of their household waste, it is stored on front drive ( not in bins) so local foxes, cats and crowes end up dragging it across my drive leaving their own waste for me to clear. If waste is stored in garden against my fence it attracts flies, birds and mice, there is also the problem that their bathroom waste pipe overflows and floods our patio. I have tried offering assistance to fix the pipe but they don't see it as a problem as not using the garden.
Alan - 21-Feb-18 @ 7:30 AM
Hi, I'm a 21 y/o female living in a flat, I have a neighbour above me (28 year old male) who has lived there a lot longer than me but constantly intimidates me despite my effort to be nice to him. He plays his radio 6.30 am to 7.40 am on full blast waking me up. (I have got recordings of this) I've tried asking him to turn it down but he denied it even being his and responded aggressively and has now gone as far to block me on social media so I can't ask again despite being very polite. I'm scared to report him because I think it'll make it worse. I really don't know what to do. My boyfriend would talk to him but I don't want to escalate the situation.
L.J - 17-Feb-18 @ 10:11 PM
LisaM - Your Question:
My neighbour has about 20+ rotting vehicles, lots of old wheels and other junk in his garden. I am sure that is where a lot of rats are nesting as well.What can I do about it. The council have been called. They come down and tell him to get rid of some cars, he gets rid, they come and inspect and then he gets some back again. This has happened 3 times now.Is there not a law against keeping scrap vehicles in a domestic garden?

Our Response:
No there is no law against this. Your local council may have it's own bylaws/conditions etc, and it seems like they are willing to take action. You may just have to keep reporting them.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Feb-18 @ 3:01 PM
Lou - Your Question:
My next door neighbors doesn't live there he has lads in ever night of week tonight there swearing kids running riot banging swearing pissing down drains I'm really ill with depression anxiety panic attacks fit my doctor told me to relax tonight cause I'm ending for a break down through issues my youngest ha going through and my past abuse I've already complained this week cause he doesn't live there he lives on top road with his girlfriend and kids please help us can't even hear tv dogs barking all time it basically a pub.

Our Response:
Have you tried the police? Is this a council or housing association property? If so you could contact the landlord.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Feb-18 @ 12:59 PM
My neighbour has about 20+ rotting vehicles, lots of old wheels and other junk in his garden.I am sure that is where a lot of rats are nesting as well. What can I do about it.The council have been called.They come down and tell him to get rid of some cars, he gets rid, they come and inspect and then he gets some back again.This has happened 3 times now. Is there not a law against keeping scrap vehicles in a domestic garden?
LisaM - 12-Feb-18 @ 10:34 AM
My next door neighbors doesn't live there he has lads in ever night of week tonight there swearing kids running riot banging swearing pissing down drains I'm really ill with depression anxiety panic attacks fit my doctor told me to relax tonight cause I'm ending for a break down through issues my youngest ha going through and my past abuse I've already complained this week cause he doesn't live there he lives on top road with his girlfriend and kids please help us can't even hear tv dogs barking all time it basically a pub.
Lou - 10-Feb-18 @ 9:03 PM
Hi,the house in front of me is empty,but the person who owned it left it in a mess, the guy who owned it sed he couldnt do anything with it anymore,and was going to hand back to estate agents,it is in a right tip when he showed me,nobody as been since it was full of rubbish all over,ive had a mouse in my house due to this,nobody has been for about 5 months,i just want the problem resolved please,many thanks Caroline
Caz - 6-Feb-18 @ 8:50 PM
Confused - Your Question:
For some time we have noticed the elderly neighbour opposite us, has been collecting fallen branches off trees on an amenity open space next to our property and dropping them along and against the boundary of our property. He has to cross the street quite some way from his own house as the front door is on the far side of the gungalow. He has also walked his dog on the open space, which we had to get the council to install a dog bin on, and at times leaves dog mess outside our on the street outside our front hedge. I spoke to him in a friendly manner some months ago when he addmitted clearing the open space as it was dangerous for his dog? I asked him to stop moving the fallen wood as it was not Down to him to police the green and not leave it against our property, there has also been other odd items been thrown over the fence/hedge. How can a approach the council to try and stop this escalating further.

Our Response:
Talk to environmental health in the first instance. They will be able to tell you if there's any action they can take. We're not sure what regulations apply to removing and deposting branches though.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Feb-18 @ 2:03 PM
For some time we have noticed the elderly neighbour opposite us, has been collecting fallen branches off trees on an amenity open space next to our property and dropping them along and against the boundary of our property. He has to cross the street quite some way from his own house as the front door is on the far side of the gungalow.He has also walked his dog on the open space, which we had to get the council to install a dog bin on, and at times leaves dog mess outside our on the street outside our front hedge.I spoke to him in a friendly manner some months ago when he addmitted clearing the open space as it was dangerous for his dog? I asked him to stop moving the fallen wood as it was not Down to him to police the green and not leave it against our property, there has also been other odd items been thrown over the fence/hedge. How can a approach the council to try and stop this escalating further.
Confused - 5-Feb-18 @ 12:52 PM
Hi I live in a four in a block and my neighbors downstairs I’m in the flat on top of them and they are really noisy all the time sometimes all day and I don’t know what to do I have went to housing association and they said they would say to their landlord because they are private tenants but they are still doing it. I live alone and I’m becoming depressed and sad all the time and can’t sleep. Please help
Thekmorr234 - 31-Jan-18 @ 11:54 PM
My neighbour's been putting their bins (2) for several weeks in a long narrow side passage (his land between our bungalows ), BUT directly opposite my bathroom window! The space in between my wall and his bins, is only 18 inches! (Abt 450mm). There'splenty of room further down away from this window! I had a 'friendly chat' & he did move them away, BUT only for a very short time!I feel quite vunerable when using the bathroom for "whatever reason"!I do have blinds, but they make the room very dark if completely closed. In a recent chat, I then added that I would not be doing the same to them!! His response now was....that I could close the blinds & put the light on if dark, and that he would think about it!!! I'm a pensioner on very low fixed income,so have to keep my energy costs down!At time of writing this, the bins haven' been moved at all! ANY USEFUL ADVICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED...Many Thanks
Sunshine13 - 31-Jan-18 @ 3:25 PM
I really need some advice. I am currently suffering the noise from upstairs, which includes the heavy steps, unknown loud banging on the floor, kids running and screaming, loud vioces from the parents, furniture being dragged on the floor, ect. The level of the noise is not extremely high most of the time. The problem is the duration of it. It is literally all day long!! I tried to talk with them twice, but they seemed quite experienced. All they said was that it was kids playing, and it was not mid night. However, because of the constant noise, I am not able to feel relaxed and enjoy a moment of quiet at my own place. (They are renting, I own the place) is there anything I can do about these. The noise has literally gives me headache and stress. I feel very worried everytime when I come home. Really need some help here. It’s driving me crazy!
Stella - 21-Jan-18 @ 8:38 PM
ritz - Your Question:
My neighbour has several cats (at least 4) that keep coming and do their poo in my garden. This situation has been going on since I moved into this house 4 months ago and got all the garden fixed with new soil. I had all new plants and bulbs planted that the cats have escavated and destroyed with their poo. Obviously nothing will grow now considering the ingent amount of excrements that would have affected the soil. What a waste of money.I have tried to talk with the neighbour who states that it's possibly just one cat responsible for this problem (I see this impossible cosnidering that we are talking about 10-15 excrements in a week) and that she looks after this cat which is a stray but she is not the owner. She refuses to do anything and didn't look keen to help in anyway not even helping with the cleaning.I don't know what to do. I have tried spray and several tricks to keep them away with nl result. What would you suggest me to do because I can't tolerate this anymore. She sees me upset and cleaning and completely ignore me. I don't know what autority I should contact to get help.

Our Response:
Please see the answer to your question below (we've answered it already...no need to post twice).
ProblemNeighbours - 19-Jan-18 @ 12:50 PM
zoe - Your Question:
Hello, I need advice on a neighbor that will not put there rubbish out. It has been blocking our shared garden for at least a month and it keeps getting growing. They don't really bother with recycling either all there rubbish goes into what ever bins we've been provided. Some context; we share a building they are flat one and we are upstair in flat 2 it is a converted house. We share a garden.Problem 2 I assume to to the piling up of waste has given us out next issue, rats or rat. We've had the the outside walls checked- there is no access into our flat through holes outside. The only way in is through our own separate front door which is never open for a prolonged period of time. Or the wall cavity which is linked to downstairs. So if they get rats we get rats.I have thought to write them a letter or knock and mention however I have only ever seen them once since living here and they don't seem very approachable. so far all I know of there existence is arguing and shouting at any time of day. What do I do please? Thank you for any help you can offer, Zoe

Our Response:
If you aren't comfortable speaking to them or dropping them a note (see our templates section for help on this), you should contact environmental health. If your neighbours are renting, contact their landlord first of all.
ProblemNeighbours - 19-Jan-18 @ 11:16 AM
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