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When you Should Contact your Local Environmental Health Department

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 16 Apr 2021 | 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.


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.


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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I live in a 2 storey Block of flats on my own. Below me my neighbour lives. Under my deeds I look after my back garden and he looks after the grass at the front. He doesn’t I have to get my son to cut the grass with his mower. We’ve complained to the agents of the flat and were at are wits end of what to do. Should I complain to environmental health but it’s not really something for them as all they’ll prob do is visit him. Any advise would be helpful please?
Sylvia - 16-Apr-21 @ 2:46 PM
I am fortunate enough to live within the walls of a graveyard - the one obvious advantage is that my neighbours are dead and therefore very quiet - except for October 31st. Every year, on this particular date, I am simply overwhelmed with the noise of incessant moaning & groaning...and don't get me started on the smell!! I suppose it's only once a year but I could do without it as I have trouble enjoying the other 364 days in anticipation of such an unpleasant event.
Turpinator - 15-Apr-21 @ 3:39 AM
Hi, our neighbours have built an outdoor toilet in the back in a shed, the windows are smashed in, all we can smell is waste when we go out back. Are they legally allowed to do this? We only have small back gardens and this has stopped us from being able to use ours, there is no way you could enjoy sitting out there or having a bbq in the summer.
Veeveesm - 14-Apr-21 @ 6:17 PM
My neighbour leave dog poo and urine in their garden for weeks, bad smell, can't go out at my own garden !! And this been since I moved.
Maria - 8-Apr-21 @ 5:01 PM
Next door but one residents do not dispose of their litter correctly.The front garden is full of litter which blows everywhere. They leave pizza boxes outside too, a magnet for vermin. It is a real eyesore. Their back garden is massively overgrown and litter also appears in the passageway. The fence is not sturdy enough and is not keeping the overgrowth out of the access path.
H M - 6-Apr-21 @ 2:13 PM
I live in a caravan park, and we are lucky enough to have a lovly location full of wildlife of many sorts, but one of the residents has taken to using several mosquito/anti loitering boxes down bottom of his premises that face our popular lake spot, and it has been for some time causing myself and many other of the residents younger relatives alot of pain due to the multiple high pitched frequencys, in my experience iv had acute migraines and awful cases of tinnitus from it, I had suffered a very serious head injury as a child and the high pitched freqency can be heard atleast 100 yards away on the other side of the lake in my case, I dont want to make a fuss about it, but I do feel they have gone overly agressive on the animals that pass their property and the same frequencys surely shouldnt effect us, if theres anything I can do id love to know but I really dont want to knock and ask and risk causing a feud, some off the locals can be a little unreasonable.
C - 5-Apr-21 @ 12:35 PM
Hi I live next door to a garden full of dog poo (over a years worth) stagnet water full of russih over whole of garden it stinks and ratswhat do I do please its been well over 12months and it stinks
Skb - 30-Mar-21 @ 5:14 PM
I have sent a stage2 complaintwestmester about them next door at 40b tressillian road brockley London SE4 1YB with them rubbish them been throwing into the back garden and fulling up are bin and the fence them put going across in the back garden and the tree them plant in the front garden and around the back garden for something to be done about them next door at 40b.
None - 22-Mar-21 @ 2:10 PM
I have sent a stage2 complaintwestmester about them next door at 40b with them rubbish that out in the back garden and the tree's that them next door at 40b have planted in the front garden and around the back garden and the fence them should never have put up a fence going across in the back garden.
None - 22-Mar-21 @ 2:06 PM
Hi, I was just wondering, I live in a council house and my next door neighbour have about 4 or 5 massive trees in their garden. I mean massive! They’re really overgrown and they’re hanging over into my garden. We’ve woken up this morning and a massive branch has fallen onto my sons trampoline. We have no sun in our garden as the trees just over take. A few years ago we did pay someone to cut one back, which was nearly £400! We’ve also asked the neighbours to cut them back, they have said they would, they’ve asked me to get quotes for them, which I have and they still have neglected them. I was wondering what we could do about this? Is it their responsibility? Or do I have to either suck it up or pay someone myself to remove them? ?? The trees are unsafe and I’m worried for my children to play outside now as it’s not the first time big, heavy branches have fallen into our garden. I was hoping someone could please give me some advice. Thank you.
Roxb1982 - 20-Mar-21 @ 11:13 AM
I have reported our neighbours before and someone came out but nothing has been done. their bins have Been on the street since October 2020 when they moved in. the bins are overflowing so is the front garden. It was windy yesterday and a large white bag was blown onto our property and litter everywhere. also a bucket that is on the front blew into my mums car. Passersby are also complaining to us as they can't get up the street with pushchairs and dogs. please can you help as a matter of urgency as I'm fed up and wish they would go. as they also start using an electric saw at either 7am in the morning on a weekend or about 7.30 at night when my daughter has to go to bed for school. really had enough now we will be having rats next. and all through lockdownat the end of last year different people were staying and coming and going. they are the neighbours from he'll.
none - 13-Mar-21 @ 2:00 PM
Our living room looks over into neighbours back garden. They have completely filled their garden with rubbish, broken furniture etc. It's been like it for months and they just keep adding to it. The pile fills the entire space and is piled up so its like looking out onto a land fill. We are concerned that it will turn into a rat run. What can we do?
Kate - 12-Mar-21 @ 11:57 AM
Hi I have problem with neighbours which are throwing food and old neals outside the house. We are sharing the stairs and path way so smells horrible and the insect flying .I can't image what will be when the wather start besunny ,what afull smells and insect coming here and I am afraid that rat starting coming here as well.Where and whith who I can contact ?
Annag - 4-Mar-21 @ 2:36 PM
Think my neighbour is land grabbing, shes a private land owner an pitching from council land ..she was pinching from my land at first till I told council.. now I think shes doing it to her other neighbour
Tamz - 3-Mar-21 @ 2:20 PM
My neighbours got a massive kitchen extension......not only on our side of our living room wall but they own a chinese restaurant so they prepare their food all day in there. We have to listen to them chopping meat all day. It is as if they are coming through our wall,they are so loud. Not only that......the junk they have out the back is unreal....trampolines, fridges,toys just rubbish ..just crap.....8 months and they haven't tried to clear it. It is causing rats because of the state of the place
Jamiejaderiley1 - 3-Mar-21 @ 12:52 AM
Just had neighbors move in last year. The have now built a bird hut out their back yard and have pigeons in them. He has about 6 other males now in his back making strange noises ( yes even in shut down) all over looking my back yard. Advice and help would be really appreciated
Respect - 2-Mar-21 @ 1:49 PM
I’ve caught my neighbour dumping rubbish outside our little court and now I’ve caught her dumping rubbish outside an old couples house who live directly opposite me I’ve contacted the counciland they have done nothing about it I really wanna take this further as it’s making this court look trampy
Lizzy - 27-Feb-21 @ 4:14 PM
I live a third of the way down Meeds road , in burgess hill, and the owner who lives at No 5 is an absolute menace. His music has been playing very loudly durning the day and passers by are complaining to. Looks like they have no respect for his neighbours, there is a law against using power tools and building work at the weekends, he has constantly drilling, on Saturday afternoon sanding and god no what else, he has a dog that runs riot and has attacked several people since September 2020. And that’s what the residence of Meeds road pay their council tax for. For a neighbour to be a constant nuisance.
Ricky - 25-Feb-21 @ 6:47 PM
We have a shared fence that has fallen into disrepair. I have asked the neighbours if they would be willing to go halves on a new fence as it has caused a rat run from his compost pile behind said fence. My neighbour refuses to help towards cost....... IF I pay to erect a new fence how far away should the compost heap be as I will not replace this again.
Tiny - 25-Feb-21 @ 1:38 PM
Who do I contact about a neighbour pouring chemicals down the drains. He has been spraying cars and whatever he’s putting down the drains the fumes are coming up into the neighbouring houses. It’s so strong it’s catching our throats, leaves eyes burning and having headaches as a result. I have a baby due soon and I can’t have this going on when baby comes home.
S - 24-Feb-21 @ 9:43 AM
the elderly lady Next door keeps taking my cat I’ve asked her loads of times to stop encouraging the cat in and she feeds her,some days lulu my cat is in her house for hours when I go looking for her the neighbour comes out and asks me if I’m looking for fluffy then she brings her out holding her close to her face Then reluctantly gives her back. I just want her to leave us alone What can I do about this?
Pete - 23-Feb-21 @ 11:05 PM
Please could you advise My neighbour keeps Chickens Quails,Rabbits,Guinea Fowl,among other anomals,inside his property.The stretch is becoming infested with mice ,beetles,cockroaches,since then.zHes not the kind of neighbour you can talk to about this,as he would cause us no end of trouble.Therearechildren living in filth and squalor here also Have reported to social services,but they inform him when they come ,and he changed things til they leave.Whst else's can I do.
Des - 30-Jan-21 @ 4:28 PM
My upstairs neighbours are awful, there's the mum & two teenage kids. They play load music all day everyday even at night when my children are trying to sleep. They shout & scream & bang about 85% of the time, even out in the communal hallway which echos through the whole building. They have several cats & a dog which is causing my flat below to have a flea infestation, that I can't seem to get under control. My youngest son has eczema and the bites are causing him to flare all the time. They all smoke & smoke weed which is coming in through the window & communal hall way under our front door. They always have people round causing a lot of noise, they don't have a carpet or anything on the floor, so we can literally hear everything. They throw liquids out of their window and it goes all down my windows, I'm not sure what it is but it's not please t and it doesn't come off very easily. I have tried talking to the mother lots of times about all these issues and nothing has been done, she'll disappear for days with the latest partner, and the kids 14-17 will be left to their own devices while she's gone, and the noise & behaviour is even worse. I am actually living a nightmare, and untill I can afford to move i feel as though me and my children have no choice.
Rebecca - 30-Jan-21 @ 10:30 AM
My next door neighbours garden is so full of rubbish bags you cannot see the garden. Some are damaged and I've seen mice and cats running through it. The bags are mounting up and the general rubbish means the children are unable to use it. I'm worried that it will not only encourage mice but rats. There must be 60/70 bags of rubbish. I worry as they have 5 children.
Worry wart - 26-Jan-21 @ 10:52 AM
I’ve tried several times to contact local environmental department through the council but they never answer in a positive way. I’ve a 8 month old baby with me and theneighbours are very different. Some smoke cigarettes other cannabis and vape and one neighbour has chimney that burns kerosene oil to lit the fire but that smell is very overpowering that comes even after closed windows. My baby developed asthma symptoms and I don’t know what to do in this situation. My husband stopped me to contact police or any other department regarding this matter because he don’t want to create trouble with them. It’s quite frustrating things that one devolved government has one law and other has another law regarding environment or regarding chimney smoke. When the England has a law to ban wood burning stoves then why the other devolved countries are not doing to safe vulnerable people especially infants and children?
Mrs H - 21-Jan-21 @ 1:04 AM
Could you please advise, my next door neighbours almost daily burning plastic, with my 2 year old son we cannot even come from house to play in the garden or open window. Apart of that I'm pregnant and from that smell straight away start having headache. Could you please give me advice where should I complain and if I can do it as incognito, as in this house we moved not long time ago and those neighbours don't look friendly, I'm scared.
Burning plastic - 14-Jan-21 @ 2:18 PM
My neighbour burns his garden waste once a week, which causes me to close my windows and suffer in the summer months in the garden with the smoke and smell. He has 8 geese which he houses on the other side of the fence. They are quite noisy at times. He also keeps a Cockerell which forever crows at all hours through the night. And the last one is he also puts all of the chickens and geese dropping under an open lean to for his compost just on the other side of the garden fence, which cause so many flies in the summer months that we can't enjoy our time in the garden or even enjoy any food we have to eat without having to swat the flies away. What is my solution to this problem?RAN
Caeser - 14-Jan-21 @ 12:13 PM
I have neighbors that continually harass myself and my family. Initially it was in regards to me doing vehicle repairs at home even though the attached neighbor is doing repairs as well, which unfortunately resulted in me having to sell my house because I was unable to keep my payments in order. Now the new story is me abusing my dogs which resulted in the spca having to visit my home every week, even though the neighbor in quest is throwing tantrums on the road in their presence the spca inspector still entertains them. I'm honestly at my whits end with the issues... I'm sure that there's some sort of help in can get to atleast allow me a peaceful stay in the interim that I'm still waiting for for the final paperwork on the sale of my house
Shane - 13-Jan-21 @ 11:39 AM
My new neighbour below is so naturally loud I have vibrating in my front room and have too live with headphones every day I'm hone...no fault of his but the flat I'm in is shocking..I hear him burp cough ect and that's with headphones on .something needs to be done about the block I'm in
Stu - 12-Jan-21 @ 7:20 PM
My neighbour is not using the bins - they have food waste and dirty nappies and other household waste and litter strewn across both their front and back gardens. Foxes are chucking it around and we've spotted mice too. Can you advise on how to deal with this.
Sonia - 2-Jan-21 @ 11:46 PM
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