Statutory nuisance

Information about what statutory nuisance is and how to report it

Explanation of statutory nuisance

While a 'nuisance' is a factor that prevents someone from using or enjoying their property, a 'statutory nuisance' is a threat to someone's health from disease, vermin and the like - but not physical injury.

For a matter to qualify as a 'nuisance' it must be intolerable, not just irritating or annoying, and should happen more than once. 

The Housing Standards Team investigate the following ‘statutory nuisances’:

  • Premises in such a state so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance.
  • Accumulations of refuse or excrement which are prejudicial to health or a nuisance.
  • Any animal kept in such a place or manner as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance.

Make a complaint

We advise residents to first try and resolve the matter by speaking to your neighbour, if you feel safe to do so. 

If you do not feel safe or able to speak to your neighbour, or if the problem persists even after you have spoken to them, you can request us to investigate the matter.

In order to make a complaint, you may need to give details of the dates, times and durations of the problems experienced. In some instances, an officer will try to capture evidence of the issue to determine if it is a statutory nuisance. 

We can legally require the person(s) responsible to stop the occurrence/recurrence of the nuisance.

If the nuisance continues after this request, we will need to gather evidence to take legal actions. Such evidence will normally involve an officer witnessing the ongoing nuisance as it occurs. At this stage in the investigation you may be required to make a formal statement and to attend court as a witness to support the case.

Anonymous complaints

Anonymous complaints are not normally accepted due to the difficulty in investigating them.
Any details that you give will be held in the strictest of confidence and will not be disclosed to anyone during investigations. However, if the matter is heard in the Magistrates Court, you may be required to appear as a witness. 

Further information

Further information on how complaints are dealt with can be found at Statutory nuisances: how councils deal with complaints - GOV.UK (
Waste management advice can be found at

Private action

You can take your own private action if you are affected by the existence of a nuisance. This would be to the Magistrates’ Court, where an Order could be granted requiring the reduction or removal of the nuisance and a fine may also be issued.