I have complained and they have used the incorrect answer used by all authorities not wanting to deal with this issue that it is a fault in the partition wall.
They have not actually inspected the wall. I have used a skilled builder to investigate and found that the issue is with the shared cavity, which means that the neighbour is polluting the shared ventiallation used by our adjoining properties. That is against the legislation and should be actioned out of duty by the EHO
On what basis have they said that they do not need to inspect please?
The Environmental Health Officer said that they don't really do anything in these cases because it's too expensive, it's hard to prove, there is no smoke - he said it was odour, I pointed out that the Law covered nuisance odour.
He said it was the partition wall, without looking at the partition wall. I took up my flooring and got a builder out, we both agreed that it was evidently flowing in through the houses in built ventilation - the cavity wall.
There is cavity wall filling by the way, though this is designed to maintain heat not stop air flow.
I saw my MP, he contacted the EHO, the EHO sent him a letter, which he forwarded to me. This time the EHO was talking about the neighbour's right to do what they want in their own home.
I reviewed the EHO's letter, which has since been misplaced, the EHO contradicted what he said to me, I realised he was dodging what section 79 sets out as a legally mandated 'duty' on local authorities.
I contacted the MP by email again, letting him know that I had had the partition wall checked and that it had been identified as coming from the cavity wall - the houses shared ventilation system (we are the end terrace in a small section of housing). The law covers ventilation systems as being something that people cannot pollute.
I am awaiting the MP's response. I asked him to do two things - first up, ask the question in the houses of parliament to clarify the sense of 'duty' to be placed upon local authorities to deal with the issue.
Second to reiterate to the EHO their responsibility to do something to protect their citizens as mandated in law.
Generally odors coming from a residential property are not covered by the Act, this is for commercial purposes.
The Act covers commercial and residential but in terms of odors then this is residential only.
If they refuse to consider it then you could only seek to Judicially Review the matter but this is expensive.
Your other option is to take action yourself under the tort of nuisance.
This is common law where smells, noise etc cause you a nuisance.
You would need an expert report and monitoring equipment to show that smoke is coming through and what levels
At that point you would be able to issue proceedings and go to Court. A Judge would consider then whether a nuisance is established (so you would rely on the expert report) and indeed what relief to grant you.
You could issue proceedings yourself using form N1
There are Court fees to pay but if you win you get them back. The same if you instruct a Solicitor, there are fees to pay but if you win the Judge can award those to you
This is the better option as Judicial Review is a High Court procedure with special rules and procedures. Sadly you wont get legal aid for it.
I realise this is not the ideal solution and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
I hear what you are saying but this is not odour, cigarette smoke has two phases - the particulate phase which contains the tar and the gaseous phase which is almost invisible but contains over 80% of the harmful toxins.
It is almost impossible to measure what comes through because of filtration, absorbtion and re-release.
Also, I don't understand how it can only be applied to commercial premises when the act is explicit when discerning commercial from residences and makes no distinction in it's articles under the clauses around nuisance nor the EHO's responsibility to deal with it.
Where distinctions do apply they are mitigated so that where shared ventilation is affected there is still a duty on the EHO to do something about, at the very least investigate.
No, how do I contact them?
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