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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12071
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Our tenants have informed us that the downstairs neighbour's

Customer Question

Our tenants have informed us that the downstairs neighbour's chimney smoke was coming into their flat. The tenants informed the neighbour of the problem, which was particularly worrying because of the high levels of smoke and the fact that they have two small children. Despite being informed of the problem and receiving a letter from the Environmental Health Dept. she is continue to use the chimney. I believe this to be a severe health and safety issue and potentially very dangerous. What is our legal standing in such a case in endeavouring to make her stop using the chimney until she has rectified the problem?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 months ago.

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland and your question has been passed to me. The fire authority and the council both have powers as you know to enforce the regulations and the council in particular can serve an enforcement notice under local authority powers. Getting them to do so can sometimes be another issue, however. You also have rights under the general civil law. What is happening is a nuisance. You could have your solicitor serve a cease and desist letter and threaten interdict and expenses. An interdict is an order of the court instructing the person to stop using the chimney until it is fixed under pain of fine or imprisonment if the interdict is breached. It is granted on a balance of convenience and in this instance it would appear that the balance of convenience would be in your favour because of the health risk. You should see a solicitor about this. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.