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How to complain about a nuisance

We are currently experiencing high levels of demand and staff shortages. Please be patient with us, we will endeavour to respond as soon as we can. The following now applies:

  • our target response time is now 10 working days
  • cases where there is the potential for a significant risk to public health will be prioritised
  • we will not respond to complaints about a delay in service so that we can focus on case work

The more evidence you can provide of the problem you are experiencing and the impact it is having on you, the easier it is for us to respond and find a resolution.

Nuisance complaint form

Informal approaches

If you need advice about how to deal with problems such as smells, noise and so on, you can contact us for informal advice. You do not need to give us your name if you do not want to.

Before you make a formal complaint, you should approach the people who are causing the nuisance. Quite often, this informal approach can resolve the problem.

Please note that problems with dogs should be reported using the dogs (noise and nuisance with dogs) online form.

Formal complaints

If this fails, or if you do not want to make such an approach, contact us to make a formal complaint.

You will be asked for details of your complaint, as well as your name, address and a daytime contact number. We will treat your details with the strictest confidence but if the case ends up going to court you might be required to attend. We will not normally accept anonymous complaints as they might be malicious.

The case officer will contact you to discuss the complaint within five working days, by letter, telephone or in person. If we cannot help you, we will explain why. If the matter is the responsibility of another agency or council department, we will refer the matter to them on your behalf or give you the correct information so you can do this yourself.

Log sheets

Nuisance is often intermittent, so we will usually issue you with nuisance log sheets. You need to fill these in with the date, time and nature of the nuisance for as long as it affects you.

You will generally have to keep this log for three to four weeks, then return your completed sheets to the case officer. Log sheets provide vital evidence and will be used if the case goes to court. They also provide the case officer with information about the best time to visit to witness the problem.

If you do not return the log sheets by the date specified, we will assume that the matter has been resolved and that you no longer need our help.

Our investigations

We will not normally contact the subject of the complaint until we have sufficient evidence to support the complaint. Evidence will in most cases be completed log sheets, but may also include corroboration from third parties.

The case officer may visit to assess the nuisance a maximum of three times. Visits will be undertaken at the times a nuisance is most likely to be witnessed, based on information from the log sheets. Extra visits may be undertaken in exceptional circumstances. Cases vary, but our aim is to complete investigations within 12 weeks.

As part of our investigation, we may undertake monitoring. This will either be in person, or by using specialist equipment in accordance with human rights legislation. The case officer must be satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists or is likely to occur.

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