What is a Statutory Nuisance?
A statutory nuisance (sometimes called an environmental nuisance) is something that substantially or unreasonably interferes with a person’s enjoyment and use of his or her property, or injures health or is likely to injure health (mental and/or physical). Strong odours, dust pollution, smoke, light, infestations and piles of rubbish are all examples of things that can be statutory nuisances. Statutory nuisances are often attributed to landfill sites, factories and sewage treatment facilities, but some statutory nuisances are on a smaller scale and occur within individual households.
How do I Report an Issue?
If you are not in a position to contact the perpetrator directly, or do not want to, you should contact the local authority or Environmental Agency. If there are other people in your neighbourhood or community who are also affected, encourage them to make complaints too. The more detail you provide and the more complaints that are made, the stronger the case will be. The perpetrator will be informed that a complaint has been made. If the nuisance continues, an Environmental Health Professional will be sent to investigate and will determine if there is a statutory nuisance taking place. Several factors will be taken into account to determine if the occurrence constitutes a nuisance. These include the location, time of day, frequency, intensity, duration and number of people affected.
What Actions Can be Taken?
The Environmental Health Professional can decide to issue an abatement notice. If the notice is not complied with and the nuisance continues, the perpetrator can be fined a lump and sum and a fine for each day that they fail to comply with the notice. Additionally, an injunction can be issued by the High Court to stop the nuisance.
You can also choose to take private civil action using the same legislation that the local authority uses. The Court can order abatement or an injunction and reward compensation for the disturbance that the nuisance has caused. In some cases there will be a group of people in a community who want to band together to take a case to Court.
Our Role as Solicitors
Sometimes the people responsible for statutory nuisances are unaware of the problems they are causing and are quick to resolve the issue once informed. However, the culprits are often large companies whose size and clout are intimidating. We understand it can be frustrating to have your quality of life impacted by statutory nuisances while big businesses want to carry on as they are to make money. We can act as your representative and intermediary when dealing with people who create nuisances to try and level the playing field. The welfare and best interests of our clients are our priorities and we aim to achieve the most satisfactory outcome for you. Please contact us to discuss possible claims for statutory nuisance, particularly if you feel the public avenues are not achieving the outcomes you want.
To talk to us about statutory nuisance claims, please call our Bayswater office on freephone 0800 524 4709 to make an appointment or fill in our contact form.
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