Investigating complaints regarding rubbish, filthy and verminous premises and other public nuisances
The Environmental Protection Team will investigate complaints regarding rubbish on private property, overgrown gardens, filthy and verminous premises, odours, premises open for unauthorised access and other public nuisances.
Follow the link to view the Environmental Enforcement Policy [157kb].
Filthy and verminous premises
We will investigate reports of filthy or verminous premises. If it is necessary we will give advice to the occupier and any other responsible person and inform them of other agencies who may be able to help.
If the conditions are 'statutorily filthy' and pose a health risk or nuisance to the occupier or neighbours and the person responsible does not or cannot take remedial action, then a legal notice may be served to ensure that the necessary work is carried out.
Accumulations of rubbish
We will investigate reports of refuse accumulations on private land. Where necessary we will take steps to ensure the rubbish is removed.
If the accumulation is causing a nuisance and the person responsible fails to take steps to remove it, a legal notice may be served to ensure the problem is resolved.
We will investigate complaints of odours, but can only take legal action if the source of the odour is from commercial premises.
Types of smells commonly complained about include:
- Chemical smells associated with nearby factories
- Gas leaks - these must be referred to Transco immediately - telephone 0800 111 999
- Sewage - this usually indicates a nearby blocked or defective drain
- Fishy - this usually indicates faulty electrics. Call an electrician
- Rotten eggs - this can indicate a decomposing body, such as a bird down a chimney flue, or rodents trapped in the property. This smell diminishes in time
- Foisty/damp smell - often indicates lack of ventilation and associated condensation problems
The Environmental Protection Team can take action against the owner if a property is empty and open for unauthorised access. In addition, if there is also an accumulation of waste material that poses a risk to health, we can ensure the waste is removed. However the opening must be sufficient for a person to gain access. Small openings and broken glazing are outside the remit of the legislation we can use.
If the property is an eyesore, we can refer it to the Housing Protection Service.