Report an odour problem

You can report an odour problem to us if a smell is having a significant impact on you and your home. 

If you can smell gas you should contact the National Gas Emergency Service on their 24 hour reporting number 0800 111 999.

You can report an odour problem to us on our online form.

We don't accept anonymous reports. You'll need to tell us your name, address and an email address; in case we want to contact you. 

You should also read the information below, before you fill the form in.

What action you can take

If you're having problems with odour, we'd always recommend that you try to sort it out informally, before contacting us. 

If it's coming from a neighbour's property, you should try to speak to the person responsible before you report it to us. You can read more about resolving neighbour disputes  on the government website.

If you live in a Housing Association or rented property, it's worth discussing your problem with your landlord. They may be able to take action under the terms of their tenancy agreement. 

Odour that you can report to us

You can report the following types of odour to us:

  • fumes 
  • smoke from bonfires or chimneys
  • a build-up of dog mess or food waste
  • smells from how animals are kept
  • filthy premises
  • waste management sites
  • odour from other industrial, trade or business premises (including food businesses)

We can't deal with any reports of odour from cooking in domestic properties. 

By law, we can only deal with odour that is defined as being a 'statutory nuisance' in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For odour to be classed as a statutory nuisance it must be:

  • excessive
  • unreasonable
  • considerably affecting you and your enjoyment of your home or garden 

What you'll need to tell us

You can't make an anonymous report to us. We won't share your name or contact details with the person or business you're reporting. 

You'll need to tell us:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • where the odour is coming from
  • what it is
  • when it happens and how long it lasts for
  • how it affects you
  • about anything you've done to deal with it 

If we decide to take legal action we may ask you to provide a statement and attend court as a witness. 

It would be helpful if you could fill in our odour diary over a period of 2-4 weeks, to give us some more information about the smell and how it affects you. You can upload this, as well as any photos or videos you may want to include, with your online form.

What happens next

When we receive your form we'll use the information you've told us to decide if we can look into the matter. We'll also ask you to fill in our odour diary or send us some other evidence, if you haven't already uploaded it with the form.

If we decide to investigate the odour, we'll usually write to the person or business to ask them to resolve the problem to avoid any further action. We won't give them your name or contact details. 

Depending on what you've told us, we may visit the area at the time you've told us the odour occurs. 

In most cases we'll need to witness the odour, before we can take any formal action.

If we're satisfied that the odour is a 'statutory nuisance', we can serve an abatement notice on the person causing the problem (under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990). 

If they don't comply with the notice we can take legal action. If we decide to prosecute we may ask you to provide a witness statement and attend court. We'll tell you what's involved in this and support you through the process.