Do you feel you are subject to a nuisance that is bad enough to complain about?
Note: We can only look into cases where a Statutory nuisances (GOV.UK) has been identified. There is no simple definition for this.
Before you contact us, please consider if it:
- poses a threat to health or has a major effect on you or your premises? (It must be more than just an annoyance or irritation.)
- happens for a long time or frequently? ('One-off' incidents are less likely to be seen as Statutory Nuisances.)
Types of nuisance
Abandoned vehicles are an eyesore and can encourage vandalism and arson, endangering lives, property and the environment.
The Council has a duty to remove abandoned vehicles from the highway and other public areas.
For more about this, see: Abandoned vehicles.
Accumulations of waste
Accumulations of waste and specifically messy gardens can be very distressing to live near. However, we only have powers to enforce a resolution to the problem, if:
- The waste poses a threat to health, such as large amounts of rotting or hazardous waste.
- The waste has a major effect on you or your premises, such as blocking access or light.
- It has been present for some time (more than 2 weeks).
What you can do
Sometimes neighbour waste problems can be resolved by having a polite word with or writing to your neighbour. They may be completely unaware they are causing a problem, or not realise how their waste is affecting you. There are some useful documents below:
You can log a complaint with the Council, if:
- The issue carries on after you have raised it with your neighbour;
- or if you are not able to make contact with the owner of the waste;
- and it meets one or more of the above criteria.
Logging a complaint
In order to look into a complaint properly, we need:
- The exact location of the waste (full Address, postcode, front /back/side of property).
- To know how you feel it is a risk to my you (blocks access to a property, attracts pests, smells).
- A photo, which will often help us to quickly assess what needs to be done without the need for a visit. This means that if your complaint is considered justified formal action can be taken against the alleged offender and your issue resolved more efficiently.
What we will do
- When we get your complaint we will assess the information provided and if we consider there is a justified complaint we will visit the person allegedly causing the problem. The purpose of the visit will be to outline the details of the complaint, require them to make arrangements to remove the waste and explain to them what further action we may take.
- If a person fails to comply with the initial notice to remove we will issue a formal notice.
- This process can take up to two months. We will undertake the initial investigation within seven days of you submitting your complaint if you have supplied a photo we will try to reply in 48 hours of your initial complaint.
We cannot take formal legal action just because we get a complaint. In most cases, an officer will need to witness a statutory nuisance before we can deal with it. We may also need to take measurements and carry out monitoring.
Where an officer is unable to witness a nuisance or is of the opinion that it does not amount to a statutory nuisance, an individual still has the right to make a complaint direct to a magistrates' court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
In general people are allowed to keep pet animals as long as they do not cause a statutory nuisance or a health hazard to people around them. Pet owners have a duty to ensure pets are kept in such a way that they do not interfere with their neighbour's enjoyment of their homes. Animals that are not kept in suitable conditions can cause problems in relation to noise, odour and waste.
We try to resolve problems by offering help and advice. Where we decide there is no statutory nuisance, we can use powers available from the: Environmental Protection Act 1990.
For more about animal health issues and cruelty to pets, see: Animal cruelty.
For advice on dog issues, see: Dogs.
Light pollution is best described as artificial light that is allowed to illuminate or pollute areas not intended to be lit.
Does a neighbour or business have lights that cause you problems when they are being used? This can be excessively bright illumination of your living room or bedroom for example. If so, we may be able to help.
Whilst street lighting is not specifically exempt by light nuisance law, it is unlikely to constitute an artificial light statutory nuisance. This is because it is not usually found on premises or property as mentioned in the legislation.
For more about this, visit: Artificial light nuisances: how councils deal with complaints (GOV.UK).
Dust can come from many sources including construction and demolition sites, the cleaning of buildings, quarrying activities and waste handling facilities.
If you are suffering from a dust nuisance caused by another person's activities, we may be able to help.
Before we could consider formal action we would have to prove that a nuisance was being caused. In most cases, we would first speak to the person generating the dust.
Insects can become a statutory nuisance, if:
- They can be traced to a commercial activity;
- and interfere with the comfort and enjoyment of someone's home.
Flies can also carry diseases, so it is important to make sure any major increase in their numbers is stopped.
The legislation available to the Council only relates to insects emanating from certain trade or business premises and does not apply where the source of the problem is a domestic property. Finding the source of the insects can sometimes be a difficult and lengthy process. The nuisance provision does not apply to insects from domestic premises or to many of the insects listed in Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. There are also exemptions for certain types of land, including arable land, ponds, lakes, reed beds, orchards and nurseries.
Also see: Pest control.
For many people, excessive noise can be a source of annoyance and stress. It can interfere with everyday life, cause sleep disturbance and can also affect your health.
We understand how annoying noise can be! So, we offer a range of services that can help resolve many of these problems.
What you can do
Sometimes neighbour noise problems can be resolved by having a polite word with or writing to the person. They may not be aware that there is a problem or not realise how their noise affects you. A useful document:
Keep a two week noise diary. Download the diary here:
You can also send your completed noise diary by email.
What we will do
- When we get your noise log we will assess it. If we believe it is a justified complaint, we will visit the person (allegedly) causing the noise. The visit is to:
- outline the details of the complaint;
- ask them to moderate the noise;
- and tell them what further action we may take.
- If the noise persists, we will attempt to monitor the noise to see if it amounts to a statutory nuisance. We will visit your home up to three times or install equipment to monitor any noise.
- If we witness the noise and decide it is a statutory nuisance then we will serve a noise abatement notice on the person responsible.
- If a person fails to comply with a noise abatement notice, we can:
- Seize and confiscate audio equipment;
- and prosecuting offenders at magistrates' court.
- This can take up to three months. We will do the initial investigation within seven days of getting your noise log.
Some odours can cause offence due to their nature, strength or persistence. The ability of odours to be carried long distances in the air means that odour can affect a large number of people over a wide area. How people are affected will depend on their sense of smell and their tolerance to the odour in question. Response to odours varies greatly between people.
Some common sources of odour are agriculture, some industrial processes, domestic premises, animals and accumulations of rubbish.
Properties in disrepair, empty or derelict
We deal with problems associated with properties which are in a poor state of repair and which affect adjacent properties. An example would be a leaking roof or gutter in an adjacent property that is causing dampness problems in your house.
We also deal with problems associated with unsatisfactory living conditions which can affect the occupants of a property or adjacent properties. You can find more information about this here.
We also promote a range of initiatives and projects to improve and regenerate privately owned housing in Calderdale. For more details, please, see: Empty homes and area improvements.
Please see: Smoke pollution.