Odours are a form of statutory nuisance which can be dealt with using the same legal process. Common ways that tenants create odour-related nuisances are by not putting rubbish out for collection, failing to clean up after dogs and failing to keep the property in good order. These nuisances can become especially annoying in the Summer. For an odour to be a statutory nuisance it must interfere with someone’s use or enjoyment of their land, or injure or be likely to injure health. The odour must be more than a simple inconvenience – an Environmental Health Professional will determine whether the odour constitutes a statutory nuisance.
Advice for Landlords
The first step is to speak with the tenant. Depending on what the tenancy agreement says, failing to keep the property clean and tidy may breach the agreement, in which case you can pursue this independently from the public process. Often a simple conversation or letter is enough to resolve the issue. The tenants may not be aware of the nuisance they are causing. If the tenants do not do anything to get rid of the odour, the landlord can contact the local authority. The local authority will inform the tenant of the complaint. If no action is taken by the tenant, the local authority will send an Environmental Health Professional (EHP) to determine if there is a statutory nuisance occurring. The EHP can give the tenant an abatement notice.
The local authority can carry out court proceedings against the tenant. As a landlord you also have the right to take court proceedings against the tenant if you do not think the public route is yielding the results you want.
If the way your tenants keep the property is causing odour that could be deemed a nuisance, please contact us. We can advise on whether your tenants are breaching their tenancy agreement and advise you on the next steps to take, especially if you are interested in taking a claim to the Magistrates’ Court. Pursuing our clients’ best interests is our priority and we take the time to get to know your situation so we can give you tailored advice.
To talk to us about odour-related landlord and tenant issues, please call our Bayswater office on freephone 0800 524 4709 to make an appointment or fill in our contact form.
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