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How to Deal With Environmental Nuisances Caused by Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 1 Dec 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Graffiti Tipping Waste Fly Tipping

Graffiti and fly-posting, fly-tipping and burnt out or abandoned vehicles are just some issues which can cause problems among neighbours, and can ruin a community.

These are all criminal offences and can become a blight on a neighbourhood. Although these crimes may seem somewhat incidental to others that may be prevalent within a particular community, they can start the ball rolling into the rapid deterioration of a neighbourhood.

Dealing With Graffiti and Fly-posting

Graffiti are drawings or words that have been written, painted, scratched or sprayed onto the surface of any building, and fly-posting is the illegal promotion of events which are often attached or glued onto buildings or lamp posts in poster form without the express permission of the local authority or the owner of the building or property in question.

Both graffiti and fly-posting are criminal offences which can lead to fixed penalty notices of £80 being issued to the perpetrators by the local authority or police and, in some cases, a magistrate can impose even higher fines. If you witness graffiti or fly-posting activity, you should Report It To Your Local Authority's Environmental Health Officer.

Your local council is usually responsible for cleaning up public buildings, street furniture and public monuments, although in some cases, such as with telephone boxes and bus shelters, for example, it’s the responsibility of the company who have placed them there to remove the graffiti or posters. You should report any instances to your local authority who will get in touch with the appropriate companies, if it’s not their direct responsibility to remove it.

If a person’s own property has been defaced by graffiti, many councils will offer a free or subsidised service to help with the removal, although you would need to check first.

Dealing with Fly-tipping

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste materials, often discarded bulky furniture, or any other form of rubbish in an area which has not been licensed for these purposes. Often it involves a vehicle simply dumping rubbish at the side of the road or in a nearby field or patch of waste land. This is a serious offence and fines of up to £20,000 can be imposed on fly-tippers, as well as their vehicles being seized.

If you witness a fly-tipping incident, you should take down as many details as possible. This should include the time, date and location of where the incident took place, as well as a description of the vehicle, people, material and, if possible, the registration number. Obviously, the more detail you can recall, the more likelihood of bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Contact your local authority as soon as you can after you have witnessed a case of fly-tipping. It’s important to do this quickly as there could be dangerous items such as disused syringes, broken glass, asbestos or toxic chemicals in the rubbish or, alternatively, if the rubbish has been dumped near water, it could contaminate the local water supply. What you shouldn’t do is to interfere with the rubbish because of the dangers of the waste as outlined above.

Dealing with Abandoned Vehicles

There are several reasons why a vehicle may be abandoned. It may have been stolen and used as part of a crime, or the owner may leave an unlicensed or untaxed vehicle rather than spending money having it towed away and scrapped.

The real issues surrounding abandoned vehicles is that they could be part of a crime scene, they attract vandalism and rubbish, and they may be at risk of possible explosion.

If you know or suspect a vehicle has been abandoned, you should contact your local authority who will investigate matters further. They will usually work in conjunction with the police and DVLA to establish whether or not a vehicle constitutes being abandoned, and will try to trace the owner before removing it. Obviously, if the vehicle has not been stolen or involved in any form of criminal activity and the owner can be traced, they will be liable for any removal or disposal costs.

If the vehicle is deemed to have some monetary value and the owner is traced, they’ll be given a week’s notice to remove the vehicle themselves. However, if the vehicle is only fit for the scrapyard, it can be removed by the local authority without any need to give notice to the owner.

We all want to live in neighbourhoods which are safe, clean and environmentally friendly so if you see any instances of the above, the sooner you contact your local authority, the sooner you can be rid of the problem and prevent a particular problem from escalating.

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I live in houses converted into flats above shops, in the ground floor flat. There's about 7 people living in the 2bed flat above me. They don't speak any English and they've been consistently dumping household waste on the flat roof below my bedroom window. There's rats and mice everywhere, it's disgusting. I'm too scared to approach them about this as it's all men. Are they allowed to do this? None of them appear to work, I've been on holiday from work so was indoors for a week, no one up there goes to work and there's someone there 24, 7. I'm at my wits end over this, it's doing my head in!
Loulou - 1-Dec-19 @ 11:44 AM
My problems mild compared to the comments I've read here but I live in a converted house with two flats. I share two general waste bins and one recycling bin with my neighbours in the building which get taken biweekly. My neighbours are wasteful. Both of the gen waste bins are full a few days in, which means by the time the bins are collected, the bags are piled up next. We're lucky our bin men just take them. But the recycling bin is a state. They throw whatever in there which means I'm cleaning it out every other day, and even when I do, they manage to get that last bit in there before the recycling men come, which means our bins don't get taken. I've spoken to the council who says it's up to our landlord to deal with them but he refuses to. And the neighbours aren't nice, the don't like being told if they can't do something so dealing with them for me is impossible, it makes it worst. I'm tired of getting my clothes and self filthy digging out their rubbish from the recycling bin. So what can I do?
JVR - 30-Nov-19 @ 4:38 PM
My neighbour has taken to storing piles of his household rubbish on his property boundary but right under the only opening window of my living room. If open the window just get smell of rotting rubbish. I have seen rats on the rubbish pile in daylight! He is an unapproachable idiot we have found. What can I do?
Bobby - 23-Nov-19 @ 8:27 PM
Hi, we live in a block of 6 flats, new tenants have moved in.The ground floor flats have a large front garden each and the other 4 flats have a communal garden at the rear.My elderly neighbour had paid for part of the garden to be made into a patio, with a beautiful raised garden and she had bought a bench so she could sit outside and enjoy it.The new tenant has broken up her bench without permission. This new tenant is a bully and had done a number of things which has upset the rest of the tenants.Can we charge him with vandalism?
Lainey - 15-Oct-19 @ 4:54 PM
We have a neighbour about 1/8th mile away, and he is renovating a large house which is fine.What isn't fine is he is dumping contruction rubble and rubbsih onto a piece of wasteland between our houses (neither of us own it...a local farmer does) and having his workers park there.This is of course, once my husband and I cleared out the bricks/metal, etc flytipped there. And,we have to stare at it.I understand he is working on the parking area, so the cars I can take temporarily.But the pile of rubble is 8 feet high and growing I've asked politely six months ago, when is that going to be taken away...oh, he says, I've taken away 80 tons of rubbish so far out of my garden.Right, but what about this pile here.Oh, I'll take it away once it is a wagon full.Believe me, it is more than a wagon full.I'm just sick of it.
buglet - 27-Aug-19 @ 11:36 AM
Hello there, I’m a house owner and in our neighbourhood of terrace house we have alleyway at the back, and everyone has access to it . I always clean my side of weeds and making it nice and tidy like the others do but after cleaning there’s always someone who will dump their rubbish on my side. I don’t know who it was. Pieces of wood, metals, pvc and plastics. I’m getting fed up with this, before I can tolerate and just clean it but that was when we were new in the area but as time goes. There’s always some pieces being dumped. Just can’t pinpoint and very scared to ask them. This happened again yesterday. Need help and advice please. What to do and can I report this ? Is it fly tipping? HBM45
HBM45 - 28-Jun-19 @ 12:56 PM
I live in a flat and have one of those old bricked off sections in the garden that used to be for all the wheelie bins before they were taken away and replaced with street dumpsters. One of out neighbours have decided this is the best place to discard their unwanted bulk rubbish like a bed, mattress, and buggy. I am very afraid of confrontation and do not want to go up to them face to face about this issue. Is there a way to get it reported as it is a shared garden space?
Thorncraft - 26-Jun-19 @ 9:01 AM
The land at the side and rear of our property (beyond our enclosed garden) is very untidy, and resembles a scrap yard. There are 5 abandoned vehicles which have not moved for over 10 years, and have just been left to rot. There are 3 truck body containers which are in a dilapidated state. We live in a beautiful rural area, and the land is visible from the road, for everyone passing to see. Beyond this area, there is a field, (which I am guessing is green belt land) the field sits directly behind our garden fence, this field is also owned by the same person. He has abandoned 2 high sided vans in the field, one has been there more than 5 years. And another van has been dumped recently,this one is about 8ft from our garden fence, and has been left in an elevated position, (hill incline) which makes it more visible and it has totally taken our view from Our garden and house. He has done this intentionally, He has said in the past that it is His land, and He can do what He likes with it. Surely, He shouldn’t be allowed to leave vehicles to rot, whilst blocking Our view, intentionally.
Stressed Sue - 21-Apr-19 @ 8:15 PM
Question We have moved onto paying for garden waste to be collected. On day of collection I found someone had put garden waste in a black bag in my dustbin. I assumed it was next door so took it out and put it at the side of their gateway. For a couple of days it moved between us. Came home and it was in my gateway. I took it to the local recycling and left my neighbour a note saying this was not my rubbish and I had disposed of it also do not put bags in the brown bin. My neighbour returned my note stating the bags were not hers and if I go near her car again she will take her web cam to the police when I am caught scratching her bonnet.I have never been near her car.Where do I stand?
Worried - 28-Mar-19 @ 12:27 AM
I have a young neighbour with his own gas company. Most of the people living in the cul de sac have lived here since the houses were built around 25 years ago.This person has lived next door for the last 3 years and has made ours and others lives a misery.He has company vans arriving early morning banging doors. He has blocked the pavement with rubble and although his drive is the biggest on the estate with parking for around 4 cars, he still parks on the pavement. We have had words with him several times, he is noisy, arrogant and obnoxious. Our neighbour opposite has been in tears several times.She lives on her own and the lights he has all over the front of his house shine right into her bedroom. He has, of course, a hot tub which is noisy and a noisy jet wash which he has used as late as 10.45pm. He has threatened us and although we cannot point the finger (not allowed without concrete evidence) last summer our lovely car was sprayed with yellow paint in the middle of the night. He has a very volatile friend who did some work for us (badly) and he has also made our life a misery by parking his old noisy van outside our house when actually working somewhere else.The police know all of this, we reported our concerns a long time ago and they did nothing. We knew it was a matter of time before something did happen and when the car was spray painted the police still weren't very helpful. We now live with security lights and CCTV - something I never thought I would have to do.My husband and myself are in our 60's and our lives and the way we live has changedwondering what is going to happen next.A bag of empty McDonalds cartons was thrown into our front garden last week and today I found an empty beer bottle on the lawn.We have always wanted to grow old in this house but now I don't know, we don't feel safe anymore.
Lin54 - 10-Mar-19 @ 6:21 PM
We all live a Mabws bridge caravan park Mathry Haverfordwest and one of neighbours has starterd dumping rubbish over this year in her garden and no matter what anybody says or does nothing is getting done to remove it or stop it. The mound is getting bigger and more stinks and this is causing rats etc. When we do complain we are just given excuse after excuse why the site manager and site owners will not make them move there stinking rubbish.
Jeggin - 3-Dec-18 @ 2:38 PM
We have wasteland to the back of our property which is overgrown and is a breading ground for vermin which tend to find their way into my garden, even when the children are playing. I have tried for years to find out who owned the land via the council, land registry neighbours etc. to no avail. My 2 year old grand daughter had a close encounter with a rat in our garden, it was only the vigilance of her mother than stopped any damage being done I decided after this incident do something about the land, i.e clean it up at my own expense, I have cleared away the waste, stripped the land and am now in the process of adding top soil, the owner of the land has suddenly appeared enquiring about what we are doing, so we explained. if he decides to prosecute, what rights do I have?
PM - 29-Oct-18 @ 10:53 AM
Hi. My neighbour has been doing work in his garden. I've now witnessed him sweeping the rubbish all up afterwards, then sweeping the street out the front and throwing buckets of rubbish into a part of our side garden. This is separate from our main garden but is still within our boundaries at the side of our house. It has a fence around to make it known it's owned and leads along to our driveway. What can be done about this? He's not very approachable. Is this fly tipping? Who can I contact? Obviously there's not a big pile of stuff to see as it will be under the bushes, but this is still out of order. We don't want his rubbish and street sweepings. How lazy not to simply put it in his own bin! Thanks.
Gemgall - 2-Sep-18 @ 10:49 AM
I live in a terrace house in a one way driving system so when the bin men are due people from other streets drag there bins to my rd for emptying but every time someone is leaving 5-10 bin bags of rubbish at the front of my house which never gets collected I have phoned environmental health at least 25 times upto now complaining every time which it then takes 1 to 2 weeks for them to send someone to clean up the mess for this to happen again the following week iv tried to catch the person doing this but I always miss them .. I am so fed up with thisI have young children and it's disgusting to be right outside my front door there must be something that can be done about it ?
K - 30-Aug-18 @ 6:09 PM
Hello, I live in a block of apartments in Birmingham city centre. There is a private car park for the building and there is some neighbour that keeps dumping rubbish bags by the building's door which leads to the car park. This is obviously not the designated place to place the rubbish bags and even though other neighbours and the building's management company have placed warning messages on the wall stating that the action of dumbing rubbish in that area is not allowed, this issue keeps happening. There is a CCTV camera inside the building that is looking at the door which leads to the car park and I have already asked the management company to look at the footage to try and find whoever keeps doing this. What other actions can I take? Could I request the CCTV footage and look at it myself? Can I report this to the police? Many thanks, Ander.
Member100 - 16-Aug-18 @ 6:45 PM
Hi, is it considered fly-tipping when your neighbour dumpsgrass sod on your private drive, when he is cutting his hedge and has garden waste bags available.
Gill - 30-May-18 @ 3:20 PM
For months now the local road sweepers have been dumping atleast 3 bags of rubbish up against the side of my house (I live end of the street), we have previously had issues with rats and mice in the area which have been reported to the council, these rubbish bags are dumped there every week the day after rubbish collection and sit there for 6 days when rubbish is collected again, last week one of these bags had sharp pieces of wood sticking out and often cats and foxes urinate on these bags making a horrendous smell and today they've splattered my car in dirt. We also have a large tree in our garden which my partner cuts down so it doesn't overhang onto the pavement in the street, the council turned up and jumped into our garden (destroyed the trellis along my wall) and cut alot of the branches down, practically stripping the tree and reducing our privacy. Surely they can't just enter my property and do as they please? What options do I have regarding the dumping of their rubbish bags?
Lola - 24-May-18 @ 12:42 PM
Lubbie - Your Question:
Have neighbours next door who dump their garden waste over their fence onto private land behind our garden. It's an eyesore. Who do I contact to stop them doing this?

Our Response:
Contact the landowner of the "private land"? They will be able to take action against your neighbour.
ProblemNeighbours - 21-May-18 @ 12:00 PM
Have neighbours next door who dump their garden waste over their fence onto private land behind our garden. It's an eyesore. Who do I contact to stop them doing this?
Lubbie - 19-May-18 @ 2:33 PM
Olivia- Your Question:
Hi, we live in a semidetached house and there is tall fence between us and our neighbour. We don't share a driveway or a garden. But for some reason she is keep telling me what to do in my garden, for example she told me to not smoke in front of my back door. This is second time when she is doing this. I didn't know that I'm supose to have a smoking designated area in the garden that I am paying 2000 pounds rent per month! Thank you for your response

Our Response:
Check with your landlord to be sure, but there aren't any rules about smoking in one's own garden just yet, as far as we are aware. Maybe just try and ignore your neighbour. If it becomes too much drop a note round and politely request that your neighbour allows you some privacy when in your garden.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-May-18 @ 11:27 AM
Hi, we live in a semidetached house and there is tall fence between us and our neighbour. We don't share a driveway or a garden. But for some reason she is keep telling me what to do in my garden, for example she told me to not smoke in front of my back door. This is second time when she is doing this. I didn't know that I'm supose to have a smoking designated area in the garden that I am paying 2000 pounds rent per month! Thank you for your response
Olivia - 8-May-18 @ 12:54 PM
I have a shared access area with my neighbour known as an entry. It is to gain access to the rear of my property via the front of the property. For some time now my neighbour has been dumping his rubbish in there. I had polite conversations with him telling him how it prevented me gaining access to my property, attracted vermin and was a potential fire risk if somebody decided to set it on fire. He kept promising he would deal with it but never did. Over 4 months of frequent conversations and reminders with failed promises each time. So I offered to help him clear it... knowing that he was having a difficult time after his wife had passed away about a year ago, didn't have a car to take it to local household rubbish site and I did. He agreed to help me load the car but in reality I did most of the work as he had given up and gone inside. I cleared all the rubbish and told him it needs to be kept clear moving forward as this had happened previously but on that occasion he had somehow got the council housing to clear up his property including the entry and rubbish in his garden and garage that he had created because he transferred tenancy due to his wife passing away. About 3 months on and things are already things are starting creep back into the entry. On top of that, yesterday one of his friends dumped quite a bit of garden waste outside of my rear garage on my private land then had the audacity to tell my son who had caught him when returning his bike that he can get rid of it for £40 and gave him a leaflet of his business. My son did not realise what was happening at the time. In addition, my neighbour has discarded furniture and mattresses etc in his own garden. I am at a loss of how to deal with this because I have been friendly about it but also firm and to the point later on. If I try to report fly tipping to the council they just point out that the rubbish is on private land and that it is my responsibility to move it if it is on my land. He is a council tenant whereas I own my home. What can I do?
Craglius - 6-May-18 @ 5:51 AM
Charly - Your Question:
Someone unsure of who is placing food tins on our front garden to entice animals to foul or for some other reason. We have found bits of rubbish which is fine but lately there was a half tin of sardines and today a whole tin of corned beef still in a open dangerous tin. It was obviously placed as ot was under a garden bench so it couldn't fall there We have been throwing it away. We do have a gate but it doesnt lock. What can we do? I am a little concerned for the animals really as you hear a lot about poisoning these days and I have a little dog.

Our Response:
This seems very strange. Is it likely that an animal could have brought these things in from someone's rubbish? Have you thought about a lock on your gate on the inside to see if it stops? That might be a bit impractical if you have post or other deliveries etc. CCTV?
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Apr-18 @ 12:30 PM
Someone unsure of who is placing food tins on our front garden to entice animals to foul or for some other reason.We have found bits of rubbish which is fine but lately there was a half tin of sardines and today a whole tin of corned beef still in a open dangerous tin. It was obviously placed as ot was under a garden bench so it couldn't fall thereWe have been throwing it away.We do have a gate but it doesnt lock.What can we do?I am a little concerned for the animals really as you hear a lot about poisoning these days and I have a little dog.
Charly - 23-Apr-18 @ 3:44 PM
Khug - Your Question:
I'm sick of the alley way behind my house. It is shared by 3 streets and many if the neighbours dump anything and everything in there. I've reported it 3 times now and every time the council clear it not even a few weeks later it's being used as a tip again. I'm not talking rubbish bags I'm talking car parts, mattresses, sofas, building rubble, mirrors and glass fixings that often smash. I want to let my kids play there as they can't play out on the street with it being so busy.I don't think anyone been fined ECT for it yet which I think will be the only deterrent. It's not just this alley way either, I walk my dog and nearly every one in the area is filling up with rubbish! I've seen rotten fruit all over one and broken furniture with mountains of bags. It's a wonder I've not seen rats. Should put up cctv to catch footage of the neighbours doing it behind me?

Our Response:
People can be so inconsiderate cant' they? Talk to your local MP, if this is in more than one area, it sounds like your council needs to be more proactive in fulfiling its duty. Is it the type of area where CCTV might be appropriate, could you suggest this?
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Apr-18 @ 2:46 PM
I'm sick of the alley way behind my house. It is shared by 3 streets and many if the neighbours dump anything and everything in there. I've reported it 3 times now and every time the council clear it not even a few weeks later it's being used as a tip again. I'm not talking rubbish bags I'm talking car parts, mattresses, sofas, building rubble, mirrors and glass fixings that often smash. I want to let my kids play there as they can't play out on the street with it being so busy. I don't think anyone been fined ECT for it yet which I think will be the only deterrent. It's not just this alley way either, I walk my dog and nearly every one in the area is filling up with rubbish! I've seen rotten fruit all over one and broken furniture with mountains of bags. It's a wonder I've not seen rats. Should put up cctv to catch footage of the neighbours doing it behind me?
Khug - 18-Apr-18 @ 1:00 PM
Happy - Your Question:
Hello, an adjoining neighbour is dumping their rubbish from their garden into the bottom of our garden. Can I report them and who to? Thank you

Our Response:
Talk to the neighbour first of all, do they realise it's your garden? Perhaps they think it's wasteland or something (assuming they can't really see it). If it persists you could try contacting your local neighbourhood policing team and report this as antisocial behaviour.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Apr-18 @ 11:17 AM
Hello, an adjoining neighbour is dumping their rubbish from their garden into the bottom of our garden. Can I report them and who to? Thank you
Happy - 6-Apr-18 @ 5:59 PM
In the allotments behind our house, some of the plot holders have taken to holding bbqs and social events. To date, it's not been a problem as they've been on their own plots away from the boundary so we've just ignored it. However, they've now established a 'community barbecue area' right next to the fence behind the houses. Other householders are also concerned as one of the advantages of these houses is the lack of neighbours. The site is very large and there plenty of other areas where they could do this but when I suggested they choose another location, they refused. I've pointed out that it will cause a nuisance to householders, but again, they say they can do what they like. The tenancy agreement states that the allotment site should be used for the growing of fruit and vegetables, but I'm not sure what to do next.
jr - 27-Mar-18 @ 3:18 PM
Goth - Your Question:
Hi we live on an end of terrace property. People have been throwing their rubbish between the 2 houses at the end of terrace. Sometimes cardboard boxes and sometimes poundland bags full of rubbish. With constantly raining boxes have become mush and now health n safety issue as when ER r crossing I hve almost slipped a few times. Me an my wife reported to council and they say, won't do anything as it's not on pavement and if it's end of terrace then it's house owners responsibility. I don't know what to do. AThought abt putting CCTV and a sign saying please don't dump rubbish here but don't think it will help.Any advice if I can report it somewhere?RegardsG

Our Response:
If it's not the home owners that are dumping it and it's a publicly accessible area, your council should be doing more about this. If it's an access to your property and your neighbours, could you consider erect a gate across? (With everyone who needs access having a key). Otherwise it might be worth calling your local councillor to see if they can support you.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Dec-17 @ 3:23 PM
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