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When you Should Contact your Local Environmental Health Department

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 7 Aug 2017 | 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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[Add a Comment]
RandA - Your Question:
My neighbour's garden is well overgrown some of the weeds are higher than his shed in the back garden and his front garden is well overgrown aswell. There is brambles, a bush and thorns growing over to our garden and started growing next to our fence, we have asked him if he could maybe tidy it up a bit which he agreed to do so but that was back in April with no attemt yet. we are in a Private Let and spoke to our land lord who advised him to tidy up a bit. he cut down a few brances from his tree in the front garden but left the branches just land wherever. There has been hedgehogs coming into our garden and trying to get into our veggies in the greenhouse I'm not 100% certain but sure there is mice. what can we do?

Our Response:
You may be able to report this to your environmental health officer as per the above article. Also read our guide: Overgrown and Messy Gardens, here
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Aug-17 @ 12:45 PM
My neighbour's garden is well overgrown some of the weeds are higher than his shed in the back garden and his front garden is well overgrown aswell. There is brambles, a bush and thorns growing over to our garden and started growing next to our fence, we have asked him if he could maybe tidy it up a bit which he agreed to do so but that was back in April with no attemtyet.. we are in a Private Let and spoke to our land lord who advised him to tidy up a bit.. he cut down a few brances from his tree in the front garden but left the branches just land wherever. There has been hedgehogs coming into our garden and trying to get into our veggies in the greenhouse I'm not 100% certain but sure there is mice.. what can we do?
RandA - 7-Aug-17 @ 7:57 PM
Lou - Your Question:
HiMy neighbour has lived next door for 7 years now and his garden has never been touched. We have ivy penetrating through our porch and fence by his 8ft high front garden full of brambles and swarming with flies. The back garden is terrible with bear bind coming through our fence and 7 ft + bushes slowly pushing our fence down. The last straw is now we have rats coming into our garden from his and the overwhelming smell of urine. He has been approached on a number of occasions, and his response is "I ain't touching it"

Our Response:
If he rents, contact his landlord. You can cut back any branches that grow over your side of the boundary but if you have concerns about health/sanitation/vermin, contact your environmental health officer.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-Aug-17 @ 2:20 PM
Kes - Your Question:
The house next door is rented they have been there a few months and are disposing of the waste in the back garden. Initially it was just the smell but now we have maggots and flies in our garden and house I have contacted the council and still nothing is being done in don't care how they want to live but it is affecting us greatly.where do I go for help?

Our Response:
Who did you contact at the council? Was environmental health or is the neighbour a council tenant? Environmental health should deal with this. Contact the neighbour's landlord if you haven't done so already.
ProblemNeighbours - 2-Aug-17 @ 11:04 AM
Hi My neighbour has lived next door for 7 years now and his garden has never been touched. We have ivy penetrating through our porch and fence by his 8ft high front garden full of brambles and swarming with flies. The back garden is terrible with bear bind coming through our fence and 7 ft + bushes slowly pushing our fence down. The last straw is now we have rats coming into our garden from his and the overwhelming smell of urine. He has been approached on a number of occasions, and his response is "I ain't touching it"
Lou - 1-Aug-17 @ 12:51 PM
The house next door is rented they have been there a few months and are disposing of the waste in the back garden. Initially it was just the smell but now we have maggots and flies in our garden and house I have contacted the council and still nothing is being done in don't care how they want to live but it is affecting us greatly.where do I go for help?
Kes - 29-Jul-17 @ 9:34 PM
bananna man - Your Question:
My neighbour has 4 dogs and never ever cleans up there dog mess the back garden and down the side of the house has dog mess everywhere.The worse part is the smell that comes in my house so I cant even open my widows the over look the back garden even just going to my rubbish bins the smell is vile.Am not sure what to do

Our Response:
Firstly mention it to your neighbour if you feel comfortable. You could do this by dropping them a note, please see our dog fouling letter template for more help on this. If that does not resolve things, contact your local environmental health department.
ProblemNeighbours - 24-Jul-17 @ 12:12 PM
My neighbour has 4 dogs and never ever cleansup there dog mess the back garden anddown the side of the house has dog mess everywhere. The worse part is the smell that comes in my house so i cant even open my widows the over look the back garden even just going to my rubbish bins the smell is vile. Am not sure what to do
bananna man - 17-Jul-17 @ 4:09 PM
Our neighbour is an elderly man who inherited the house next door about 30 years ago. We have lived next door for 7 years and the garden is seriously overgrown with weeds, brambles and fruit trees. He has never cleared it or kept it under control and it is getting worse. The weeds and brambles keep getting through the fence and has damaged the fences which we have had to replace and are constantly having to cut back encroaching branches coming through the side of the fences and through the trellis. Most of the weeds are over 6 feet tall. He is too old to now get it under control and is likely to need a gardener with a digger to get it back to normal again. Is there anything we can get him to do as he is very rarely there, maybe once or twice a year for an hour??
Carly - 15-Jul-17 @ 3:14 PM
A very elderly (76) friend of ours is suffering from nuicence neighbours, he already suffers from anxiety and angina and has complained numerous times to the letting agents (Tiger) but has not had any response. What can he do? It is now affecting his health and we are very concerned
Puds - 8-Jul-17 @ 4:49 PM
Lu - Your Question:
There is drug use within the block in which I live contacted the housing association but it's carried on should I contact environmental health the police have done nothing, housing association has done nothing and it's starting to effect our children what should we do

Our Response:
The Housing Association and the police are the correct organisations to contact. If you are unhappy with the way they have handled it you could complain to the Housing Ombudsman or the IPCC for the police . You could also try contacting your MP if you feel no action is taken.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Jul-17 @ 9:35 AM
There is drug use within the block in which I live contacted the housing association but it's carried on should I contact environmental health the police have done nothing, housing association has done nothing and it's starting to effect our children what should we do
Lu - 3-Jul-17 @ 8:41 PM
Furler75 - Your Question:
Hi, I recently moved into a rented terraced house split into two flats, I am in the downstairs flat with my partner, our upstairs neighbour has many cats which wasn't initially a problem. But a few days into moving in I noticed that the smell from upstairs seems to be coming into our house, it smells of cat faeces constantly and we have to use air freshener every day and it only masks it for a few hours, it's getting to the point where I'm not comfortable in my own home because the smell is so strong and makes me and my partner feel quite sick. The smell itself is strongest in our cupboard which is directly under our neighbours stairs, but the smell can generally be smelt throughout the house, it's making me not want to have guests over and I'm just wondering what my options would be in order to report the smell?

Our Response:
You should report this to environmental health. If the smell is the due to the neighbour's cats, they will be able to take action.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Jun-17 @ 2:42 PM
Hi, I recently moved into a rented terraced house split into two flats, I am in the downstairs flat with my partner, our upstairs neighbour has many cats which wasn't initially a problem. But a few days into moving in I noticed that the smell from upstairs seems to be coming into our house, it smells of cat faeces constantly and we have to use air freshener every day and it only masks it for a few hours, it's getting to the point where I'm not comfortable in my own home because the smell is so strong and makes me and my partner feel quite sick. The smell itself is strongest in our cupboard which is directly under our neighbours stairs, but the smell can generally be smelt throughout the house, it's making me not want to have guests over and I'm just wondering what my options would be in order to report the smell?
Furler75 - 22-Jun-17 @ 1:33 PM
Nina - Your Question:
We have a semi detached house and are currently having our driveway done. Unfortuately when we had our concrete and sharp sand bags ordered they were put in a alleyway which is now blocking cars from going round the back. All our neighbours are reasonable apart from one. Asking us to move these bags which is impossible physically. The bags will be there for a few days tops. However we are one end of the street so there is access to the back from the other end if need be. This one neighbour refuses to understand its only for a couple of days. What can we do??

Our Response:
As the long as the neighbours can still access their property by car then yes they are being unreasonable but if you have to keep both access point/the alleyway clear for access, you have breaches this condition and your neighbours are entitled to take further action.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Jun-17 @ 11:51 AM
We have a semi detached house and are currently having our driveway done. Unfortuately when we had our concrete and sharp sand bags ordered they were put in a alleyway which is now blocking cars from going round the back. All our neighbours are reasonable apart from one. Asking us to move these bags which is impossible physically. The bags will be there for a few days tops. However we are one end of the street so there is access to the back from the other end if need be. This one neighbour refuses to understand its only for a couple of days. What can we do??
Nina - 20-Jun-17 @ 10:54 AM
My neighbor has a garden that is over grown, 6ft in weeds and rats that keep coming into our garden and they have dumped a fridge freezer out the front which has been there for 6months and I want to know what I could do about it?
Helen May - 14-Jun-17 @ 5:20 PM
My neighbours garden currently stands at above 1 meter tall with grass and weeds. Next to there back door are bags upon bags of rubbish some not even closed. The other night i opened my back door to step out to smoke and saw a rat scurry from in front of my door through the fence to my neighbours. I have 2 toddlers and a cat. The cat keeps bringing fleas into the house I'm sure this is down to the messy garden and pests living in there.
Incieboy84 - 1-Jun-17 @ 6:27 PM
Hi, My neighbour places their dustbins in a area which is close to my drive way (also I think that falls within my house boundary) and whenever I get down from my car I am having to pass through their dustbins, or whenever I try to move my dustbins thats like an obstacle to me. It doesn't feel good to walk closer to the dustbins whenever you walk around your car and also especially when you have a very small kid. My initial discussion with my neighbour was not fruitful so I am wondering if there is any way to enforce those bins off my sight and nose as I am worried about the health of me and my family.
Arvy - 30-May-17 @ 1:17 AM
Chinchin - Your Question:
I want to sell my house but my neighbours have an old car in the shared drive old tyres and rubbish.they also have three dogs and there never taken for a walk.they don't clean the dogs mess up and the smell on a warm day is horrendous is there anything I can do.you can't approach them

Our Response:
You can complain about this to your environmental health officer - please see our guide here
ProblemNeighbours - 17-May-17 @ 12:04 PM
I want to sell my house but my neighbours have an old car in the shared drive old tyres and rubbish ..they also have three dogs and there never taken for a walk ..they don't clean the dogs mess up and the smell on a warm day is horrendous is there anything I can do ..you can'tapproach them
Chinchin - 16-May-17 @ 1:14 AM
Moved into a rented property. Landlord is planning to fix our fence as it's all came down possibly due to the meter high waste pile flowing into our garden from our next door neighbour. Not sure what the correct way to go about this? Don't really want to go out in the garden knowing that's there and we don't know what's even underneath all the mess. Opinions?
Lat95 - 29-Apr-17 @ 10:39 AM
Adamh - Your Question:
Hi in my street there is a house opposite us who are very noisy in the street. They have several kids who play in the street ( which in itself isnt a problem) but the kids constantly swear, the parents are ALWAYS shouting at the kids in the street, and quite often they allow their kids to sit in their car, turn the stereo up to the max in it and sound the horn. This will go on all morning on some occasions. On other occasions the parents with argue in the street aswell shouting & swearing. They are really not approachable people.

Our Response:
Contact your environmental health officer - they may investigate it as a nuisance complaint rather than a noise complaint but you must give thorough details. If you say you want to complain about a noisy family in your street, they will not consider investigating...
ProblemNeighbours - 10-Apr-17 @ 2:33 PM
Hi in my street there is a house opposite us who are very noisy in the street. They have several kids who play in the street ( which in itself isnt a problem) but the kids constantly swear, the parents are ALWAYS shouting at the kids in the street, and quite often they allow their kids to sit in their car, turn the stereo up to the max in it and sound the horn.This will go on all morning on some occasions. On other occasions the parents with argue in the street aswell shouting & swearing . They are really not approachable people.
Adamh - 8-Apr-17 @ 5:09 AM
My neighbours are hoders and there house, garage, rear garden and the front of there property is full of junk, I wish I could post a picture. What can I do? They are not approachable.
Clare - 28-Mar-17 @ 5:29 PM
Jesus - Your Question:
Hi I live in a council flat top floor in the north west I've been here for approx 3.5 years my old looking neighbor below has and is constantly smoking skunk I've repeatedly reported him to the local authorities with no sign off this stoping as I'm told he is well in his rights to smoke this in his own home I've reported him to the police as well with little help I'm getting to the point we're I don't know what to do I carnt just simply ask him to stop as he is a odd ball there is no reasoning with a moron I've mentioned it to him in the past his sarcastic comment was 'good lad my name let's say Jesus I'll get you some air freshener, which the strange looking weird smelly man still hasn't done I'm wondering is there any legal law this man is breaking that I can report so I can try and get this disgusting stinking habit stopped before he pushes me to far and something is said or done which I'm liable to regret worst thing is he knows I have children in the house and the vile creature still constantly smokes the stuff which stinks my entire flat out can anyone help with what I'm supposed to do Many thanks in advance JESUS

Our Response:
Have your tried environmental health? If they can't help, your only resorts are to try mediation/alternate dispute resolution or a civil action in the courts.
ProblemNeighbours - 28-Feb-17 @ 10:00 AM
Hi I live in a council flat top floor in the north west I've been here for approx 3.5 years my old looking neighbor below has and is constantly smoking skunk I've repeatedly reported him to the local authorities with no sign off this stoping as I'm told he is well in his rights to smoke this in his own home I've reported him to the police as well with little help I'm getting to the point we're I don't know what to do I carnt just simply ask him to stop as he is a odd ball there is no reasoning with a moron I've mentioned it to him in the past his sarcastic comment was 'good lad my name let's say Jesus I'll get you some air freshener, which the strange looking weird smelly man still hasn't done I'm wondering is there any legal law this man is breaking that I can report so I can try and get this disgusting stinking habit stopped before he pushes me to far and something is said or done which I'm liable to regret worst thing is he knows I have children in the house and the vile creature still constantly smokes the stuff which stinks my entire flat out can anyone help with what I'm supposed to do Many thanks in advance JESUS
Jesus - 26-Feb-17 @ 9:46 AM
Hi'i live on grount floor some one live on top foor i live here from ten years to when i moved here i painted all my flat and new carpet .After two three years pearson live on top floor strat gaiving me problem floor bord noice pesing noice smoking and dust smell i was so paranoid i made complane to city council on line nothing happen now i have change floor to laminate floor walls are all painted well there is fire place in one room which i use moust of the time in this room all the time i haveing problem of dust and etc.still .when my nighbour is home i get problem of dust not all the time but when he make noice with floor bord .i do hoover every day do mup once week i live alone i like my house clean i have bath every day and use perfeum and air frashner but some time i do get this problem.can some one help me.
imran - 13-Feb-17 @ 6:51 PM
Angel - Your Question:
My new neighbors are extremely noisy, they scream at each other all day everyday I can hear every word & we live in stone built back to back terraces not thin walled new builds! But not only that they have now started smoking what smells like weed & my house stinks of it & I have long term illnesses that this is agrevating. What can I do as this is now making me ill?

Our Response:
If you feel comfortable with it you could try having a word with them. They may not realise it's such a problem for you. Our Letter templates section might also help if you'd rather send a note/letter. If none of this helps to improve the situation then contact your environmental health office as in the above article.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Feb-17 @ 12:32 PM
My new neighbors are extremely noisy, they scream at each other all day everyday I can hear every word & we live in stone built back to back terraces not thin walled new builds! But not only that they have now started smoking what smells like weed & my house stinks of it & I have long term illnesses that this is agrevating. What can I do as this is now making me ill?
Angel - 11-Feb-17 @ 12:06 AM
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