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Your Rights Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 20 Aug 2021 | comments*Discuss
 
Environmental Protection Act Rights

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 encompasses a wide range of issues aimed at both businesses and individuals but is ultimately concerned with maintaining the quality of both your immediate and surrounding environment. On an individual basis, this can include a whole host of things, and the areas outlined below are just some of the issues that may directly affect you in a residential area.

Smoke Nuisance

The Act protects those who wish to prevent the pollution of air quality within their neighbourhood. This might be as a result of a nearby factory which might be belching thick smoke out of a chimney to a Neighbour Who Wishes To Build A Bonfire to burn some garden waste. That’s not to say that neither a business nor an individual is not permitted to produce smoke but it has to be managed in a way that does not contravene the Act.

Noise Nuisance

In addition to The Noise Act 1996, covered in more depth in another article contained within this website, noise nuisance is also incorporated into the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and is aimed at preventing the quality of your environment being reduced through excessive noise, including loud music, Persistent Barking From Dogs, DIY projects, anti-social behaviour, nearby businesses etc. In fact, it would encompass anything where the noise is loud and intrusive, whether that’s persistent or intermittent, and which affects the quality and comfort of your everyday life.

Odour and Insect Nuisance

Odour and insect nuisance can pose potential health risks and is often the result of either bad waste management and/or a casual approach to dealing with household waste. It could also be due to incorrect installation of extractor fans from local food producing businesses, for example, and you are protected from having to put up with this under the Act, too.

Dog Nuisance

In addition to persistent barking, the Environmental Protection Act also incorporates other issues that can damage and/or seriously harm the quality of your immediate environment. This can include dog fouling in inappropriate places and not cleaning the mess up to Dangerous Dogs which are not permitted under UK law to dogs who are causing a nuisance or which have got out of control and thus could pose a danger to other members of the community.

Light Nuisance

This can be caused by security lighting which does not meet the recommended standards whereby it can directly affect another person’s property. It may also be a company within a residential area that has a light on throughout the night for security purposes which is causing a nuisance to neighbours.

Other issues which neighbours can often complain about which would be covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 can include things like litter dropping, abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping and graffiti.

It is an important Act to comply with as if you contravene it, your actions will have a direct effect on your neighbourhood. Dirty streets, noisy houses, unruly dogs all contribute to the bad perception of a particular neighbourhood and can be the catalyst for the emergence of anti-social behaviour, which can lead to crime.

Most of the time, many of the issues discussed here can be simply resolved by individuals (and local businesses, where appropriate) communicating with each other to come up with solutions and, perhaps, compromises in certain instances. However, the Act does protect your rights by law and if no resolutions can be reached, your first port of call will usually be your local authority’s Environmental Health Department who will take action to resolve the problem. In some cases, they might be able to achieve this by themselves, although in serious cases, they may also have to resort to getting the police involved.

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I live in a massionett ground floor 17 years mortgaged the property above is private landlord there has been several tenants in property with minor issues but this last tenant is persistently dispersing rubbish from her balcony onto my extension roof and also breeding pigeons
Na - 20-Aug-21 @ 1:02 PM
The woman in the flat above me tip her dirty water onto my lawn after cleaning the feces and urine off her balcony caused by her dog
Chelle - 24-Jun-21 @ 9:18 PM
My next next neighbour has been a problem to myself and my husband over the years it’s been that bad he has a A.S.B.O constantly drill banging hamming till early hours of the morning it’s been hell living here, his house looks like nobody lives there the front and back garden looks is a dumping ground, his grass hasn’t been touch for over two year and the rubbish is dump every where I have reported to the council loads of times the gutting has fell of the wall and myself and my husband where sitting in our garden we could smell burning and he been cigarettes out on the outside window ledge council property He has daughter there 3 times week and she is 5 years and I have hard say to her dad That she would love to play in the garden it’s that bad there is just no chance she would go out the due to it’s a dump hole and health safety, we have spent a lot on your house and keep it lovely and spent a lot of money on having a new fence up if the grass starts coming though we will hit the roof we not made of money has we are private tenants,And I thought the laws have changed that if tenants don’t keep up with there maintaining there garden they get find £1000, I’m disabled and next door has made me and my husband life a misery and put us though hell is there any way you can help us with this problem, has I have documented every think and took photo too
Debs - 4-Jun-21 @ 10:27 AM
We live in a residential Bungalow in a row with Other Bungalows, we have lived there11 years, A man moved next Door, and has put up over 100 ft of Pigeon lofts,down one side, of the boundary and another 20 ft loft along his garden, He is breeding Pigeons, and selling them, we are having an increase of Rats in our Garden, I have seen them, going into his garden, the Noice down our garden, is Horrendous I have spoken to the other Neighbours they have a problem with Rats also, since this man has been living here When he moved here, he didn’t even tell us what he was doing, I’m not against Keeping Pigeons, and I would accepted the 20ft along the garden with racing Pigeons But this is a money making Buisness for him, I have seen people back and fore collecting the Pigeons Does this man need permission to do what he is doing
Guitar Fan - 25-Apr-21 @ 10:11 AM
My upstairs neighbours harass me by releasing gases/chemicals fumes into my flat deliberately and it is affecting my health. The police cannot deal with it as they said it us a civil case. The Landlord, a Housing Co-Operative, cannot do anything as the tenant manipulates everything. Where can I go for help? Thank you.
Marma - 21-Mar-21 @ 10:13 AM
My neighbour runs a dog boarding business and also owns 9 small dogs of their own, she recently also had chickens. To get rid of their waste she put a compost bin on the fence adjoining our property. This has attracted rats, they burrow under the fence and dig and kick out all of this waste into our garden, this includes all the dog poo, chicken poo and scraps of food. We have politely informed them that this is happening, and have tried to sort the rats our side but they keep coming back. The neighbours refuse to do anything about it and don’t seem to care that I’m shovelling their dog poo and chicken poo from my garden. She isn’t the nicest of people and we just want a quiet life. As a dog boarding business is this not violating her licence? Any help would be appreciated.
Leah - 8-Feb-21 @ 3:48 PM
I have upstairs neighbours who let there dog urinate on their balcony which is directly above my own balcony. The balcony has wooden slats as flooring and gaps between each slat which leaves space for the dogs urine and any other droppings. They clean this by throwing a bucket of water over it, which also comes down on to my balcony. Do I have grounds for a complaint over this? As this is my personal property which now I will fear to sit on through the thought of bacteria from the dogs excrement.
D - 31-Jan-21 @ 7:13 PM
Hi can you help? A niebough feeds pigeons and they are increasingly becoming a problem for me they now come onto my roof and poo over the gable end onto the foot path and it’s becoming slippery.I’ve asked her to stop feeding them but she refused to stop can the environment health do anything, cheers ken
Kendo - 29-Jan-21 @ 10:04 AM
My neighbours have 7 acres but put the stables, huge manure pile, chickens and now a male goat, all along our boundary. We are their only neighbours, and the goat smell is awful, even worse than the enormous dung heap, preventing us using our garden or opening our bedroom window. Are there any remedies to this smell problem. The neighbours do not respond to any of our concerns.
Jo - 3-Oct-20 @ 2:40 PM
Hi Sir/ Madam, I lived in a couched house and in front of my house got six parking spaces. I am very upset by my neighbour who lived in a couched house either opposite me.They owned a dog.They always let their dog pee on the parking lots few times a day and almost every day this incident happened. Our parking lots are nearly covered by the urinate of the dog.Today the neighbour’s daughter even let the dog poo (the dog got diarrhea) nearly in front of our door and besides our carport as well. She just poured a jug of water onto it and claimedthat she had cleaned the floor. In fact me and my another neighbour did ever make a complaint to them, unfortunately they just ignored us and claimed that they got the right to do so. Today I did make a complaint and they still claimed that they didn’t do anything wrong.May I know what can I do to stop the matter goes further please?Because I think this is not right and will contaminated the environment.I would be glad if you could give me some advices please.Many thanks for you assistance!Best wishes, Janet
Janet - 23-Sep-20 @ 8:01 PM
Hi Sir/ Madam, I lived in a couched house and in front of my house got six parking spaces. I am very upset by my neighbour who lived in a couched house either opposite me.They owned a dog.They always let their dog pee on the parking lots few times a day and almost every day this incident happened. Our parking lots are nearly covered by the urinate of the dog.Today the neighbour’s daughter even let the dog poo (the dog got diarrhea) nearly in front of our door and besides our carport as well. She just poured a jug of water onto it and claimedthat she had cleaned the floor. In fact me and my another neighbour did ever make a complaint to them, unfortunately they just ignored us and claimed that they got the right to do so. Today I did make a complaint and they still claimed that they didn’t do anything wrong.May I know what can I do to stop the matter goes further please?Because I think this is not right and will contaminated the environment.I would be glad if you could give me some advices please.Many thanks for you assistance!Best wishes, Janet
Janet - 23-Sep-20 @ 7:55 PM
At nights i feel a strong smell of gas which is used to ripen fruit during transportation. It comes from theneighbour's flat below. Do you think she wants to take my flat from me or my skin looking older?
Kirra - 15-Aug-20 @ 12:48 AM
My next door neighbor's has vegetables growing in h
Dee - 28-Jul-20 @ 9:35 PM
we have a neighbour at the bottom of our garden who constantly has fires which really smoke and ash flies everywhere even when we have washing out on the clothes line they have fires what can we do about it im sure its a smoke free zone we live in so its a set time
jonesisit - 12-Jul-20 @ 3:20 PM
my neighbour loves having fires outside and the Ash always lands on my car is there any legal way to stop this
deew - 5-Jul-20 @ 6:17 PM
I have a horrible neighbour next door who doesnt like cats and throws 10 year old cat feces over to my garden by the way my cat is a inside cat and only goes ourside for about harf hour if the weathers ok she scream and shouts at him that she will kill him and she will get a dog and throw it over my side to kill my cat i am keepung all the cat poo to show police if she carrys on or hirts one hair on my pet
Mazi - 5-Jul-20 @ 12:59 AM
Prior to my neighbours extending into their loft space I never heard noise but since the work was carried out it has become noisy and I can hear someone, I think their child, running across the floors. I also understand there should have been a party wall agreement andthere was not. I was not even shown the plans.To demonstrate how inconsiderate these neighbours are, imagine my shock when I came home one day and found scaffolding in my garden, my permission not having been sought. I feel very aggrieved.
JJ - 24-May-20 @ 6:49 PM
Since my neighbours extended into their loft space I am subjected to noise, such as their child running across the floors, which was not there before the conversion works. What are my rights.Also, there was never a party wall agreement signed and I was never shown the plans.
JJ - 24-May-20 @ 6:39 PM
Quiet enjoyment of ones home. Is there anything that can be done about a log burner from a converted garage roof..which is level with my garden when it is lit the smoke fills the garden with smoke and stench of a bonfire and enters my home ..I can no longer enjoy my home my summer house or my hot tub. Recently been done.
Shaz - 16-May-20 @ 8:22 PM
Did Splodge get the pigeon problem resolved and if so how?
Mad Neighbour - 28-Apr-20 @ 5:38 AM
We have had disputes with our neighbours for years as we have a shared driveway and access to what was two garages at the back of each property, they are dated 1930's properties. Two years ago it got nasty and we had a new drive way at the front and fencing created, the neighbours then knocked there garage down and have built a fence/wall right up to the boundary area of the property where it is meant to be clear access at all time for turning circle for a car, we have a new garage at the back and need access to bring our car out. Recently they have started to put items (Garden Box's) and what looks like garden waste right on the boundary lines, where do we stand on this? they are very aggressive and hostile neighbours?
Pensioner - 22-Apr-20 @ 5:03 PM
My elderly neighbour lights fires on the most beautiful days at different times. I can put washing out at 1:30 pm and then he will light his fire, my washing stinks of smoke and needs to be washed again. This week I have washed the same items three times. What can I do please?
Nicki mc - 14-Apr-20 @ 12:30 AM
I am so distressed by the high levels of the smells as the result of the crofter feeding his sheep very close to my house. I have to wear a mask when the garden not because of the coronavirus but fear of inhaling smells from animal waste.
Self - 5-Apr-20 @ 10:29 PM
There’s a neighbour near me whose driveway is on a hill. When they go up and down the stones on there driveway go onto the pavement. They never brush them up or do anything about them. So when I’m walking my dog, the stones have covered the full pavement that I need to go onto the main busy road as my dog can’t walk on the stones and I’m scared Incase I go over my ankle and hurt myself. Please advice me on what I can do ??
123gennie - 31-Jan-20 @ 5:45 PM
My neighbour has solar panels and the pigeons have been breeding under them There are now about 12 and they roost down the sideway and the droppings are everywhere.I hose my side down and have spoken to him and told him he needs to get his solar panels covered but after six months he has still not had this work done. is there anyway that he can be advised where to get this work done as he also says that the pigeons are a problem.
splodge - 2-Oct-19 @ 3:49 PM
Hi I am distressed by the loud pitched noise that is pretty constant in my lower ground flat. The history of ASB since I have lived here for 5 years has included several residents and the main issue of a vulnerable adult causing the main issues has now left and been re housed. However over the few years that they have moved on I now realise that many noises in the fabric of the building were not due to the above. Skunk smells are also a big problem. I am suspicious that my neighbour above me is either growing or storing skunk as the smells are periodically strong, rise and fall. I can't prove anything and as a result I believe that they have bought an extractor fan of sorts to manage smell. They may just be a heavy skunk smoker also but I cant investigate or prove or enquire without being dismissed by them or landlord. I am not standing in judge met of anyones lifestyle choices , however I do not want others smells and noises in my home significantly, unless it is acceptable life noise within acceptable hours. There is now a constant high pitched sound ( I believe from fans...or electrics from above) there is also a bathroom fan which is connected to the light in all flats which is on much of the time and not occasionally as someone uses the bathroom. This high pitched sound sets off my tinnitus, causes constant sleep disturbance and is wrecking my health. I also have my neighbours tv above my bed ( as lounge is above my bed) This tv sound late at night due to the fact that they sleep in lounge and not in bed and is often up all night is more intermittent but I am often on edge anticipating. They also have a dog and can roll the ball for the dog, give bones to chew on floor and leave dog foul in own yard until clearedup. It is stairs down to my lower yard and If I leave my windows open I get all the flies. These issues are all really hard to capture and log constantly and I have complained through all the appropriate channels with landlord, tried to talk to my neighbour, but am never taken seriously or responded too in a timely way. AlwaYS CHASING UNTIL I GIVE UP THEN GET EXASERBATED, Again and attempt again. I am done with keeping logs as it is constant. is there any environmental health technology for reasonable measurement of high pitched sounds? Is there a case for soundproofing a lounge above a bed if the tv is disturbing through the night. In these conversions you can even hear someone above go to the loo, cough, talk if not quiet talking, walk, dog ....its really quite distressing to live here and although I recognise my own sensitivities, I feel the noise is not imagined ( which I feel I will be sidelined with), and yet I feel too intimidated as no one , including my neighbour takes me seriously and they may well be running a business or growing for own personal needs above me. My neighbour adjacent to them have damp wallissues aligned with my said neighbours bathroom /bed wall ( bedroom he never seems to use, which I find weird )
distressed - 13-Sep-19 @ 11:59 AM
Hi I am distressed by the loud pitched noise that is pretty constant in my lower ground flat. The history of ASB since I have lived here for 5 years has included several residents and the main issue of a vulnerable adult causing the main issues has now left and been re housed. However over the few years that they have moved on I now realise that many noises in the fabric of the building were not due to the above. Skunk smells are also a big problem. I am suspicious that my neighbour above me is either growing or storing skunk as the smells are periodically strong, rise and fall. I can't prove anything and as a result I believe that they have bought an extractor fan of sorts to manage smell. They may just be a heavy skunk smoker also but I cant investigate or prove or enquire without being dismissed by them or landlord. I am not standing in judge met of anyones lifestyle choices , however I do not want others smells and noises in my home significantly, unless it is acceptable life noise within acceptable hours. There is now a constant high pitched sound ( I believe from fans...or electrics from above) there is also a bathroom fan which is connected to the light in all flats which is on much of the time and not occasionally as someone uses the bathroom. This high pitched sound sets off my tinnitus, causes constant sleep disturbance and is wrecking my health. I also have my neighbours tv above my bed ( as lounge is above my bed) This tv sound late at night due to the fact that they sleep in lounge and not in bed and is often up all night is more intermittent but I am often on edge anticipating. They also have a dog and can roll the ball for the dog, give bones to chew on floor and leave dog foul in own yard until clearedup. It is stairs down to my lower yard and If I leave my windows open I get all the flies. These issues are all really hard to capture and log constantly and I have complained through all the appropriate channels with landlord, tried to talk to my neighbour, but am never taken seriously or responded too in a timely way. AlwaYS CHASING UNTIL I GIVE UP THEN GET EXASERBATED, Again and attempt again. I am done with keeping logs as it is constant. is there any environmental health technology for reasonable measurement of high pitched sounds? Is there a case for soundproofing a lounge above a bed if the tv is disturbing through the night. In these conversions you can even hear someone above go to the loo, cough, talk if not quiet talking, walk, dog ....its really quite distressing to live here and although I recognise my own sensitivities, I feel the noise is not imagined ( which I feel I will be sidelined with), and yet I feel too intimidated as no one , including my neighbour takes me seriously and they may well be running a business or growing for own personal needs above me. My neighbour adjacent to them have damp wallissues aligned with my said neighbours bathroom /bed wall ( bedroom he never seems to use, which I find weird )
distressed - 12-Sep-19 @ 10:36 AM
My neighbour has a burger van up against his wall in the back yard,we live in terraced houses and the van is up against my wall also and towers about it.Its blocking all my light into my yard and just looks horrendous. The burger van has been stripped out and used as storage so its stationary at all times.I want to put myhouse up for sale and it will just be impossible to sell with this overlooking us.Its also really bright colours , rasta colours so stands out so much.Any advice would be great.
jade gooch - 1-Jul-19 @ 10:36 PM
Hi, having serious problems with selfish neighbours who have put their tumble drier in a very small storage unit fitted for small storage and gas and electric metres and gas piping etc! It’s located at the front of the house and smells really really strongly of washing chemicals detergents etc and comes into our living room and bedrooms! It’s not fair that we have to keep closing our windows! Can anything doneto stop this, they won’t even use s condenser! We both live in council property and the council don’t care, that it’s causing us huge stress and serious lack of fresh air, can you help!
Kojack - 18-May-19 @ 7:27 PM
Hi, my neighbours have placed their tumble drier at front of the house. The smell is overpoweringly strong and comes into our bedroom and living room it smells awful and always seems to be in use! The tumble drier is fitted into a very small confined space in a shared store cupboard directly in front of our house. It’s a shared divid storage room they housed the electric and gas metres and pipes. With no adequate ventilation, is this safe and due to overpowering smell coming into our property. Can we force them to remove this or at worse make them fit a condenser. We both have council properties and council aren’t bothered, what can we do?
Kojack - 18-May-19 @ 7:17 PM
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