As property owners, it would be ill-advised to underestimate environmental issues that can impact the structure, infrastructure or surrounding areas of our properties. Particularly when they are through no fault of our own. Even the most simplistic issues, left unresolved and given time and credence, can quickly escalate into disputes. A calm, sensible approach to dealing with these issues, may remedy the problem. But often, where the action of others impacts our lives, we are emotionally charged and tempers can fray. This means a pragmatic approach is not always possible.
What are Environmental Issues?
So what exactly do we mean by environmental issues? And how best should we deal with them? In every scenario it is always advisable to try and resolve the issue directly with the other party. Without doing so, you are possibly missing an opportunity to find a quick and simple resolution. Be it through an exchange of words or in written format, detailing your issue is the first step to reaching an agreement.
Property owners are required to deal with any pests found on their property. Pests include mice, rats, pigeons, cockroaches, fleas, lice and bedbugs. If a property owner is unwilling to tackle the problem, your local authority can be contacted to investigate and possibly intervene.
Dog fouling is one of the most contentious environmental issues. Despite the possibility of receiving a fixed penalty notice for doing so, some people continuously offend. Where this happens, your local authority is responsible for clearing up dog mess from streets, roads and parks.
Concerns about dangerous dogs should be raised with the police.
Your local authority are responsible for removing vehicles that are abandoned. The Police also have powers to remove a vehicle which appears to have been abandoned.
Forcing individuals and organisations to control litter on their land is very difficult. Your local authority can issue fixed penalty notices or issue a community protection notice. This requires a person, business or organisation to take certain steps to resolve a litter issue.
Noise nuisance, from a neighbour, construction site or local business, can be exasperating. If speaking to your neighbour or the people concerned does not improve the situation, you can complain to the environmental health department of your local authority.
Aspects of your property, such as paintwork, can be affected by air pollution like smoke and chemical emissions. You can raise a formal complaint with the environmental health department of your local authority.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
If reasoning with the other party involved in your dispute does not prove fruitful, alternative dispute resolution may be an option. ADR is an alternative to lengthy and costly litigation that seeks to find an outcome that is agreeable to all parties involved, through the intervention of a third party mediator. Proven to be successful in many property disputes, ADR relies on cooperation of all parties involved in the dispute.
Further advice and help is available from various government agencies:
Tel: 0370 850 6506 (General Enquiry Line)