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How to Deal With Environmental Nuisances Caused by Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 29 Apr 2022 | 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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Our neighbour asked permission to "scatter" topsoil from her rear garden works in the shared access behind several neighbours rear gardens, including ours. However, now that the works have taken place, what has happened is the relaying of the entire square footage of her rear garden into a narrow space behind two properties which sit 3 and four doors away from her property. The result of this work is to raise the level of the access by some 3 inches for affected properties.Our property remains unaffected, except that our 6 foot fence is now 5 feet 9 inches on the exterior.Our elderly neighbour, however, has a rear gate onto the access which she uses for her wheely bins.She will be affected by this change in level, as will other properties whose rear gate opens directly into the shared access. This is not what we agreed to and we want it put back as it was, now that she has taken advantage of our initial agreement. We also feel that this raising of the level makes the rear of our properties more vulnerable as it effectively reduces the height of our boundary fences. What, legally, if anything can residents of affected properties do?
RVWilks - 29-Apr-22 @ 4:29 PM
We have just had new neighbours moved in and straightaway they have been causing nuisance, allowing children to run around screaming, shouting, slamming doors. Tried to ask nicely two times if they could keep the noise down and met with a hostile mother who basically refused and started throwing around false accusations about us as a family. We previously met her once before moving in as one of the neighbours knew her and wanted us to meet as they were moving in soon. So we’re guessing their friend was the one telling her false information. Anyway, the neighbour phoned our housing officer and got told to be welcoming and draw a line under it. I feel like getting the council involved is the next step but I feel that’s going to be a waste too. Anybody else been in this situation before and what was the outcome?
Nad - 4-Sep-21 @ 6:19 PM
Our neighbours have become a real nuisance.When they first moved in they seemed ok though asked to use our internet for a few days which I thought was cheeky. As months gone on they have become progressively noisy.They allow their screaming kids to run around the house,banging and slamming doors early in the morning waking us up.We are healthcare workers,we work full time and really don't appreciate being woken up early in the morning by those people next door I believe they are dealing drugs,the mother is very unpleasant and the dad aggressive.After months of this constant noise I had had enough I put letter through their door Next thing she's threatening police and breaching my privacy by filming me.There was no sorry just aggressive behaviour.Any advice would be appreciated
Dave - 22-Jul-21 @ 3:43 PM
I live on first floor flat and one other occupier downstairs the land around the property is meant to be communal, The downstairs flat occupier is filled the whole area up with vehicles and practically blocked all entrance I have four young children and he is aggressive and threatening also racist every I go out or come back, I’m scared a single parent and vulnerable. I don’t have any money, I live in Bournemouth can anyone advise my neighbours name is Ken sheldrake and he claims to be a goon. I have young kids and am scared for them.
Nuttydoctor - 8-Jul-21 @ 3:29 PM
Hi my neighbours moved in next door in August last year. At first they were fine but now the noise at night is getting so bad. They have a girl of 7 who is allowed to run around screaming at full volume in the house and garden sometimes as late as 1130pm doors slamming TV on full blast they constantly row which makes him drive off but return a short time later with the music blasting out of his car while he sits there and has a cigarette. I know we’ve have all been through dreadful times lately I have tried to speak to them as I still have to work and am tired. I sometimes only get 5-6 hours sleep I work in healthcare and I need to feel my home is somewhere I can rest. I’ve asked the housing association but they have said I’ve just got to tolerate it . Is it worth reporting to council ? Will anyone do anything?
Tired - 14-Apr-21 @ 9:43 AM
I moved into a terrace cottage which has a easement access on both my deeds and land registration my neighbor has blocked both gates which prevent me from having my gas bottles / cess put emptied lawn movers wheeled through to cut my front garden ms grass he said it should not be on there . What can l do
Archie - 5-Apr-21 @ 9:35 PM
Our neighbour on the one side have an overgrown untouched garden which their fence panels keep falling into our garden. On top of this they also don’t put ahh of their food waste in their bins, they leave it outside on the floor, tables, chairs. It’s disgusting, and unhygienic and it’s causing a fowl smell and probably is attracting vermin. (This has been going on for the 2 years we’ve lived here, they don’t get rid of anything!) She has recently lost her mother who also used to live there. Any tips on how to ask her nicely to get her to clean and tidy her garden as soon as possible? Every time we go to ask she avoids us.
Coconutty - 29-Mar-21 @ 2:41 PM
My brother is having trouble with his neighbour who is building 5 detached houses in his own garden, the builders have dumped 150 tonnes of top soil in the field at the back of my brothers house, it is blocking his view and causing him great distress and suicidal thoughts, we think this is a total disgrace, is there anything that can be done.
Hector - 25-Mar-21 @ 5:43 PM
Could anyone advise. A welding company which backs onto our properties has never given issues until lockdown. They have cut down trees on their land which blocked their unsightly buildings. They have now decided to clear the front of their building piling soil, tyres, rubbish, girders and old cars right behind our properties. Piled so high it the “mountain of waste” is now visible over our fences. We have asked them to stop and written to them. All contact ignored. All 6 properties are at our wits end. Any advice would be appreciated- we are waiting for Environmental Health to visit but they seem to be dragging their feet.
Tb69 - 23-Mar-21 @ 12:48 PM
I am one owner of three who share a car park in front of our houses. The third owners rent their house. Their tenant has dumped six big white bags ( the sort building companies put sand, cement in) full of waste from his past home improvement business or. Waste astro turf, packaging, tools etc. Myself and the other owner have both individually asked him when he's moving it and it has told us both 'within the next two weeks'. It has now been there six months. It is against the fence I own and the communial one. I have spoken to the owners but obviously nothing has been done about it! I paint the fences and lines and numbers on the car park, and jet wash paths etc every spring. I don't think I'm being unreasonable but I am getting no help. Environmental health said it's a civil matter and I could go through small claims court. I don't have that sort of money, I am disabled. Any advise please?
Chris - 24-Jan-21 @ 7:29 AM
I have people living next to me and my son, who is autistic, that have found ways to increasingly harass us. They have advanced from temporarily affecting the air in our home with a toxic substance to daily ingestion of gas or oil mixed with an fine powder that leaves a greasy dry feel on everything. We are eating, breathing, and sleeping with this substance. I have a new furnace and central air in our home with air ducts cleaned recently and everything related to clean air found in my home. Nothing was found failing, deteriorating, or damaged. I have this substance all over my home now. My son and I just moved back home after being out due to a fire for 2 months. This attack started about a month after moving back in. My son nor I deserve to be poisoned in our own home because this "it" next door (definitely not a neighbor) has a problem with me. Who can help me draw out & expose this criminal?
Bre - 29-Dec-20 @ 1:28 AM
We have been suffering from ASB, Harassment fro 6 years from upstairs neighbour including Loud music drug use Verbal abuse
Ron - 24-Dec-20 @ 1:35 PM
I'm really glad I don't live near you, so you can't snoop in my bin. PS of course you can recycle tissue. Busybody.@jaye
Dave - 29-Nov-20 @ 6:19 PM
We have new neighbours that have moved in recently and live in the flat above us in our block. Basically we came back from food shopping yesterday and found bin bags stuffed full of recyclable waste and if that wasn't bad enough, used nappies. Oh, and in a carrier bag full of so-called recyclables - used TISSUES! Like, how is that recyclable? I cautiously opened one bin bag to find dirty nappies in that and a swarm of flies came out! No one should have to encounter this, pandemic or not, but we don't know what viruses or pathogens could be lurking within dirty nappies! I even SLIPPED on one of them when wheeling the bins out onto the pavement ready for collection and there was excrement from them on my clothes! Disgusting! Absolute PIGS! Not fit to be called HUMANS in my book! Apparently one of the residents who had dumped this waste outside - shock horror, is a NURSE or training to be one! I sure wouldn't like to be treated or looked after by HIM, I can tell you that. The other resident came out as I came in, said hi to her - completely blanked me. How did people like that come to be able to save up for and purchase property that they are not fit for? They are VILE!
JayeJaye - 9-Nov-20 @ 8:51 PM
I have 2 neighbours who have lots of rubbish on the street. Sofa, large fridge freezer.rubble toilet bowl, paving slabs general rubbish. Has been ther 2 months.imts normally a nice street. Disgusting.
Hong kong - 4-Nov-20 @ 10:08 PM
We live in a block of council flats and relatives of the the flat below continues to dump rubbish in communal bins leaving them full for no one in the flats to use. Is this classed as fly tipping due to the rubbish being put into a bin and not the side of the road?The same people dumped animal carcas and remains in clear bags prior to this. which had to be removed desposed of and replaced with a entire new bin. The entire block of flats then get charged a yearly fee for bulky waste and services of extra waste removal all by someone that doesn't live in the flats.Council have been informed but nothing ever gets done about it.
Sputnik - 17-Oct-20 @ 8:13 AM
I have a neighbour dumping wood into my garden, I know where it’s came from, should I put it back to where I seen it?
Muppetbanjo - 9-Oct-20 @ 2:44 PM
Neighbor leaving waste bin with too full and not closed , waste flying everywhere.what to do and whom to inform
Paul - 16-Sep-20 @ 8:18 PM
My next door neighbour who we are not friends with has dumped a Material on are side of the shared drive way they have purposely done this we have proff on the ctv we have with there face shown that they have put it there should we report it to the cops and is this allowed?
Unknown - 10-Sep-20 @ 7:44 PM
My next door neighbours have been putting all their rubbish behind my shed in my garden. I am in housing association property. They have done this before and the HA asked them to stop doing it. I paid someone to clear behind it. I spoke to the family behind my house yesterday who said they'd seen my neighbour dumping again, and there's a mattress behind there now. The previous tenant had built two sheds at the bottom of my garden across the width, so cannot get behind them at all. The only reason I managed to get it cleared last time is that the family behind me were changing their fence. I have only just become on speaking terms with my neighbours after the previous time, so I feel really disgusted and upset they are still doing this. What can I do?
Fed up - 30-Aug-20 @ 12:30 PM
Opposite us communualbins which is behind my wall in my back garden. First the smell coming from the bins means we cant sit in our own Garden as the smell makes us feel sick, we sat in our Conservatory today with the window open and again the smell meant we had to close the window. I have 2 Kids who normally stay in the garden for most of the day but they don’t want to go outside anymore saying the smell is to bad. Secondly we are getting rubbish thrown over our wall exactly where the bins are so it looks like people are throwing rubbish into the bin and missing which means it comes in our garden. One of my kids is nearly 2 and we are also scared of him picking up the waste in case it is something sharp or worse already contct with councel they said private company they have so i dont know wht to so
Brittany - 24-Aug-20 @ 11:07 PM
My neighbour has on several occasions thrown half eaten fruit ontomy property. Some has hit my car on the front drive and some has landed on my patio at the rear.
Goink - 10-Aug-20 @ 11:37 AM
One of my neighbours apparently just leaves bin bags full of rubbish, and cardboard boxes on their doorstep. This is in an apartment block and the common area now smells quite bad, and there has been an outbreak of fruit flies. Who do I contact about this? I am afraid there will be worse outbreaks, mice for example, also the smell is unbearable, it looks like there is months' worth of used tampons inside one of the bags.
Jacques - 26-Jul-20 @ 1:09 AM
We have realised today our neighbour at the end of our garden has been dumping Thier waste behind our shed on my side of the fence . The reason we were up there is cause the bottom of the shed has rotted away . We now realise the it is duethe waste that has mounted up behind it . Garden waste that has formed in to soil am I within my rights to demand he move it ? I didnt put it there so do not feel I should be clearing it out . Also pretty annoyed about the damage it has caused to our shed
Lou - 25-Jul-20 @ 8:26 PM
My neighbour uses the land at the back of my house as their personal dumping ground, its a shared access area part of which my land but is not big enough to use because of the access issue. Is there anything I can do about the dumping?
Vexed - 14-Jul-20 @ 7:15 PM
Last 2 wkend my neighbours keep throwing eggs over the wall into my yard
Pepsi - 12-Jul-20 @ 8:57 PM
Neighbour is retired has kept a trailer at side of his house for over 20 years. He cant see it. It is my view from all my front windows and seen by everyone who visits me. It is constantly overflowing and a complete eyesore. He only empties it when he basically cannot squeeze any more in. He has now added a boat to his collection!! Can I do anything about this? Our rates are £1700 a year. They are both "professional" people who obviously dont give a damm about their neighbours.
Annie - 9-Jul-20 @ 10:56 AM
My problem is my neighbour has dumped rubbish in there garden for years. They have Piles of household waste, a mattress Stuffed near my back door which smells horrendous, dog waste they scrape into a corner. They rarely bother to put out there bins for collection so the front garden is piled up too. Rats are a regular visitor but the flies at the moment are unbearable. I complained to the housing association I rent from 2 years ago and they have done nothing. Who else can I complain to?
Jaqjaq - 29-Jun-20 @ 4:23 PM
My neighbours have dumped their garden waste and wood/plasticbetc in our garden and created hills out of soil from their garden left overs in ours. Is this illegal??
Angry - 24-Jun-20 @ 8:48 AM
My neighbour has had her drive cleaned it has left a mess of sand and mud outside my house on pavement and in the gutter. Is there anyone I can complain to ? No good asking her as she is neighbour from hell long as her side is ok she doesn’t give dam about anybody.
Annoyed - 22-Jun-20 @ 2:16 PM
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