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When you Should Contact your Local Environmental Health Department

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 22 Jun 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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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
Annoyed - Your Question:
Hi how do I go about complaining about my neighbours she has not had her bins out for around 6 weeks. They are overflowing and smelly. She has food all over her garden? We have really bad anti social behaviour from them too. Nothing gets done to stop this. We have involved the police, environment health, town counsellors and still nothing is done. The landlord is aware of the rubbish, drug taking and all night parties and still does nothing.

Our Response:
If there are all-night parties and the rubbish is becoming a health hazard then your environmental health department have the powers to take action. What was their response?
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Feb-17 @ 12:24 PM
fedup - Your Question:
My neighbours car parts plastic wheel arches keep blowing over on to my car. We have a shared drive which is already a storage place for their stuff and unfortunately my front window overlooks the drive. I have text them but with no joy.

Our Response:
If your property has been damaged by this, you might want to ask them to cover the cost of repairs. That may prompt them to be more conscientious about how they store the parts in the future. Send a formal letter instead of a text with a suggestion that you may refer to a solicitor if no action is taken.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:33 PM
Hi how do I go about complaining about my neighbours she has not had her bins out for around 6 weeks. They are overflowing and smelly. She has food all over her garden? We have really bad anti social behaviour from them too. Nothing gets done to stop this . We have involved the police, environment health, town counsellors and still nothing is done. The landlord is aware of the rubbish, drug taking and all night parties and still does nothing.
Annoyed - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:53 AM
My neighbours car parts plastic wheel arches keep blowing over on to my car. We have a shared drive which is already a storage place for their stuff and unfortunately my front window overlooks the drive. I have text them but with no joy.
fedup - 4-Feb-17 @ 3:06 PM
Being harassed by two families in the street been pinned against a fence my washing spat on with moucuse music blasting and the mother throughing stones ask the counci the police no one will help
Cat - 1-Feb-17 @ 8:41 PM
In May last year, new neighbours bought the flat beneath mine in a two story purpose-built block of studio flats. They undertook a long and noisy process during which they removed all the internal walls in their causing my floor to buckle and become severely damaged. They subsequently raised the floor again and put a steel beam in place, however the acoustics have now changed within my flat and I am can now hear a newly put in sliding door opening and shutting. Although this is incredibly frustrating I realise these are adjustments that I am forced to live with. However, the company that manage the flats keep informing me that the new owners (who caused the damage), are complaining that I am making excessive banging noises (they aren't specific as to what and when). I can only assume it is from my washing machine which, as there are no longer internal walls in their kitchen, now vibrates throughout their flat. Can I be held responsible for noises that are caused by their own decisions to remove internal walls? They never asked for any permission or told anyone that the initial building work was happening.
SilvermanJeff - 1-Feb-17 @ 8:26 AM
Hello, we have a neighbour, well the back of his property is on our cul-de-sac, he runs a car repair service, registered? Not sure but he works on cars vans and lorries on the road in our cul-de-sac.The noise is at times unbearable, trolly jacks being whizzed around on the road, compressed air tools being used and raving engines to name a few. My question is ' IS HE ALLOWED TO DO This? '
Kriss - 27-Jan-17 @ 4:00 PM
Hi. I've been living at my property for 2 years but I've owned it for 4. My father gave me the property- he's had it for over 20yrs. The neighbour is absolutely disgusting, she's been hording rubbish for years-almost 19yrs!! I'm sick of it, I have mice in my house I had them exterminated once before now I'm pregnant I am disgusted I have them again. She has mattresses, bed frames, 4 dustbins and mounds of clothing. I have to view it constantly has they refused to build the wall any higher. There are 6 children over the age of 20 and 2 adults living int he property, they play music, scream, shout and swear so much I just sit and listen as I woman refuses to listen or speak to me. I'm sick of this I seriously can't cope. I caught her putting rubbish in my bin countless times, even opening the front door and asking her what's her problem and why is she doing this. She has started storing household rubbish in her shed. I've taken pictures of this constantly then deleted as my family think I am going to cause problems. I am sitting writing this and even now had to bang the wall because they keep playing music whilst my daughter is asleep. Help!!
Hamza - 22-Jan-17 @ 10:27 PM
My neighbours keep feeding feral cats that have grown in numbers.. 15 so far in the last 2yrs.. They feed them in their back garden and then they crap over my lawn. It stinks so much that I can't sit in my garden surrounded by runny cat mess and urine and blue bottle flies.. not to mention the cat fights at night and early morning keeping my family awake.. 4 yrs ago they were feeding feral cats (25) in total.. I complained and the local council paid contractors to come and take them away.. Then they started to feed another feral cat which keeps having kittens and this has led to the recent 15 cats that have destroyed my garden.. Cats protection are not interested in helping !!!! Help anyone
Wits End - 17-Jan-17 @ 1:17 PM
Hi, my partner and I are wanting to rent out one of our properties but there is an unsightly mess as you look out of the kitchen window created by one of the neighbours. It is a dilapidated campervan along with clapped out old cars that have sat there for years. The land backs onto the railway line and apparently he does own the land. It will put people off renting and I wondered if there was anything we can do legally to get it moved? Thank you
Tats - 12-Jan-17 @ 4:52 PM
Hi I've been living in a house with husband and two children. About six months ago one of my neighbours started banging her bin lid a few times a day. Getting louder and louder over the months. She also swings her gate constantly and goes next doors Garden(when the lady's out) and bangs her bin lid potters about making noise. She prefers to be in next doors garden as she is out of view. Now I know it doesn't sound like much but this is a mature lady who's about 70 and she lives with her husband so she's not lonely. She is well put together. I know she's doing these things to annoy me. I've counted her banging her bin lid over 30 times a day on a bad day and my husband saw her putting the smallest piece of paper in there. She waves at my husband and says hello to my children but never to me. I study from home so I'm in everyday, and when I say it's all day everyday it really is. I've had to start wearing ear plugs because even though it's winter she has been out at 1:30am banging her bin lid. The way our houses are my bedroom is infront of her front door bins etc. So is this anti-social behaviour?
Sam - 12-Jan-17 @ 11:26 AM
Hello My good friend is experiencing an issuing with one of the other tenants ina shared privately rented accommodation, the people are on housing benefits. He has lived there for nearly a year, at first the place was really quiet and all the other tenets got along. Then a guy moved in his partner works for the local authority in the benefits department, she is always getting involved and laying the law down, she stays at the premises often she thinks she is superior and in charge of the property. The guy keeps them a wake all night, with having different people coming round and shouting outside at all hours it is believed that he is dealing in drugs, people are coming and going at all hours. He sleeps all day and complains when the other residents make any noise during the day.He has threatened the other tenants and calls them names, he has broken the lock on another tenants bathroom despite having his own within his room, he filled their bath up with rubbish and empty cans of booze and broken glass. He has been reported to the landlord on several occasions and the landlord found drugs in another room and flushed them down the toilet, this person is making everyone's lives a misery with lack of sleep and constant noise and behaviour.
Flossie - 27-Dec-16 @ 4:57 PM
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