A statutory nuisance is something that, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, affects a person’s health or causes unreasonable disturbance to them in their property. Property damage is never classed as a statutory nuisance; such maters should be resolved by both parties as a civil matter.
Noise is the most frequently complained of nuisance issue although there are other things that can be considered as nuisances. These include smoke (e.g. from garden bonfires), dust, odour, and accumulations. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 lists other specific types of nuisance.
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Other complaints which do not fall under statutory nuisance but are dealt with by the Council are listed below:
We often receive complaints regarding overgrown gardens. We cannot take any action against the person responsible unless the garden is proven to harbour rats or mice, or poses a risk to health in some way. Being an eyesore is not sufficient for us to take action.
Filthy or Verminous Properties
Some people find it difficult looking after themselves and their property. This may lead to the property becoming untidy and dirty. Whilst not ideal this would not be serious enough for us to become involved (although it may be appropriate for other organisations such as Social Services to become involved).
The Private Sewer Transfer Regulations
The public sewers in Wrexham are the responsibility of Welsh Water (external link) and you can call 0800 085 3968 (or 0800 052 4125 for a Minicom service) for more information or to report a problem.
The council will deal with issues concerning private septic tanks.
Nuisances we are unable to deal with
Previous legal cases have stated that noise from young children is unlikely to cause a statutory nuisance. Therefore it is, unlikely we will be able to deal with this formally.
Noise from normal living behaviour or where there is poor insulation
We are not usually able to deal with this as what one person considers normal may not necessarily be the same for another. This can include noises from activities such as:
- talking (non-raised voices)
- washing machines, dishwashers and tumble driers
- non-faulty central heating systems
- doors slamming
- cooking and cleaning
- opening and closing cupboard doors or drawers.
These types of noise are likely to be more apparent if there is poor insulation between properties, rather than unreasonable behaviour. For this reason, we are unlikely to be able to take any action to resolve the issue.
If a property does have poor insulation, then the responsibility to improve this rests with the home owner or landlord. There is, however, no, legal obligation to improve sound insulation on older properties.
Newer properties should be built with enhanced sound insulation and since 2004 this has been required under Building Regulations.
Noise from road, rail and air traffic
We do not deal with complaints about traffic noise, railway noise or air traffic.
You can get further information by contacting:
- road noise - Welsh Government (external link)
- rail noise - Network Rail (external link)
- air traffic noise - Civil Aviation Authority (external link)
The Council now has the facility to accept noise recordings using the Noise App (available on Android and IPhones) once a complaint has first been formally registered with the Contact Centre.
The Noise App enables noise complaints to be received by this Local Authority at any time of the day or night with the facility to send brief noise recordings direct to investigating officers.
You must include your name and address, a telephone number and the address of the property where the noise is coming from, along with a description of the type of noise that you are complaining about. Please be advised that anonymous complaints are not investigated.
Download the App
For more information on using the app, see the user guide below or alternatively you can watch The Noise App Walkthrough guide (external link) on YouTube.
Taking Your Own Legal Action
A private action is where a private individual or company takes action for themselves in a magistrates’ court. There are several reasons why this may be done:
- The Council is not satisfied that the level of disturbance you may be suffering is a Statutory Nuisance as described under Section 79 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990, and is unable to assist you any further.
- It has not been possible for an Officer to witness the problem.
Under Section 82 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990 if you believe you are affected by a Nuisance you are entitled to make a complaint directly to a Magistrates’ Court and request the issue of a summons.
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