Public Health

Report a Housing nuisance or public health problem 

If you identify properties that are: 

Infested with rodents, bed bugs, cockroaches and squirrels

Contact us if the property is rented as we will help by visiting the property gaining evidence of the infestation and will contact the private landlord to undertake remediation work. If the Private landlord does not comply, we may take formal action. 

If you own your property, we recommend you contact a private pest control company to eradicate the infestation. 

If you consider a neighbouring property is attracting or harbouring rodents due to an accumulation, overgrowth or the keeping of any animals please contact us. The team will lay non-toxic indicator blocks to assess rodent presence.  If the indicator blocks are taken/eaten this is classified as a positive indicator of rodents.  Oppositely if the indicator blocks remain untouched, this will show no rodent infestation.

Filthy and Verminous

These are infested by vermin, eggs, larvae and pupae of insects or parasites, or in such a filthy or unwholesome condition as to be prejudicial to health.

Such properties are frequently characterised by an accumulation of material that can make access to a premises difficult and that may present a physical or fire risk to the occupants or those of adjoining properties. Please contact us. We have a duty to deal with such properties under Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Section 83 of the Public Health Act 1936.

We will visit the property to determine if enforcement action is necessary.  Discussions will happen with the owner/occupier aiming to reach an agreement to remove all rubbish, hording and/or articles and to thoroughly clean the property.

We may liaise with Social Services, Age Concern or Care First etc. to help and provide support to the occupier and we will deal with matter very sensitively.

If the owner/occupier fails to comply the Council can serve a formal notice requiring the property to be cleansed, all rubbish and filthy articles removed and properly disposed of Waste & Recycling. We will follow the Public Protection Enforcement policy (pdf).

Sometimes the Council may undertake the remediation work themselves by undertaking work in default.  The charge is invoiced to the property owner or can be land registered. 

Open to Trespass

Contact us if an occupier is temporary absent from a residential premises and the property is not effectively secured against unauthorised entry or it is likely to become a danger to public health. 

We will visit the property as an emergency and will serve formal notice under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982 Section 29. 48 hours’ notice is required after describing the proposed works unless it is necessary to undertake them immediately or it has been impossible to contact the owner.

We will require the securing of the property and may undertake works in default whereby the Council will undertake the works and will charge the owner. 

If a commercial property is vacant and is not secured against unauthorised entry, please contact Building Control

Dog faeces, Pigeons feeding and faeces, Chicken faeces

Contact us if you consider faeces are in excess and if rodents are present or being attracted or items present may provide harbourage.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, Section 4 enables local authorities to inspect residential premises and owners are required to keeping their premises free from vermin.

The Act places an obligation on owners or occupiers to control rats and mice on their property and to inform local authorities of infestations. The team may lay non-toxic indicator blocks to assess rodent presence. 

If the indicator blocks are taken/eaten this is classified as a positive indicator of rodents. Oppositely if the indicator blocks remain untouched, this will show no rodent infestation.

Sharps/Needles

If Sharps/Needles are present on private land to which the public have ready access (without deliberate trespassing) contact us as we may be able to assist.

Enforcement procedures are available where informal action is unsuccessful or inappropriate.

Download the Public Protection Enforcement policy (pdf).

Apply for an exhumation licence

A licence should be applied for the removal of human remains from the ground.

‘Exhumation’ is the removal from the ground of the remains of a human being, either in the form of a body or cremated remains.

You may need to exhume human remains to:

  • move a body from the original grave site to a new grave
  • deepen an existing grave for a further burial
  • send them for cremation

How to apply

Download and fill in the licence application form to remove buried remains (including cremated remains).

You will be required to obtain the signature of any close relatives, the owner of the grave plot and the burial authority. The application form should be returned to the [email protected] this will be processed and will be sent to Cemeteries.

Environmental Health Housing will be notified as we jointly attend with cemeteries on the day to ensure public health is maintained.