Untidy land is when land is neglected by the owner or occupier and this causes problems for the local community.
It can contribute to increased perceptions of crime or anti-social behaviour and result in one or more of the following to take place -
- cause a nuisance
- pose a risk to health
- become unsightly
- be detrimental to the neighbourhood
- attracting other problems such as -
- fly tipping
- criminal damage
We investigate matters relating to untidy land to make sure that owners and occupiers respect the local community and the environment.
It is the responsibility of owners/occupiers to maintain their land and avoid enforcement action.
The majority of problems relating to untidy land is often relatively easy to put right, for example by avoiding -
- large accumulations of litter
- accumulations of waste
- significantly overgrown gardens
- failing to remove accumulations of dog faeces
- abandoned vehicles, or parts from vehicles
- if the land is unoccupied, by failing to regularly inspect the land and remove wastes fly tipped
If evidence is found on clearance of wastes you can report any details you find to us by using the link below -
Report untidy land
You can report untidy land using our online form below. Ideally, to help us best respond to your complaint please provide us with images showing the condition of the land when prompted to do so.
Information provided is used to help us to establish whether enforcement action can be taken.
A decision may be taken to close anonymous untidy land reports where -
- insufficient information has been provided
- enforcement action is not possible without further evidence
You cannot use this form to report -
- obstructions on private land as these are civil matters. We recommend you speak to neighbours or landlords and if this is unsuccessful, seek independent legal advice. For example -
- communal land
- street cleaning requests
- vegetation overhanging or obstructing the highway
- Japanese Knotweed
- private rented housing giving rise to issues, for example -
- concerns on housing condition
- structural disrepair
- long term empty property
Talk to your neighbour or their landlord
You could let your neighbour know that there is a problem, by having a conversation, or writing them a letter. If you are aware that your neighbour lives in a rented property, you can contact their landlord to advise them of your concerns.
If you are experiencing damage to your property from your neighbour, which you believe has been caused by overgrown vegetation, this would be a civil matter for you to deal with and if required seek independent legal advice. Advice on this, and on neighbour disputes is available from Citizens Advice by calling 0800 144 8848 or online.
If your dispute concerns a high hedge consisting of a line of two or more evergreen or semi evergreen trees or shrubs which are over 2 meters in height please access the link below
The action we can take
Where the condition of land is found to be unacceptable we establish the owner/occupier and write to those concerned.
If action is not taken, for example - to remove accumulations of waste please contact us using the above online form and provide us with images showing us the issues you feel are affecting you from the condition of the land. In response to being contacted we determine whether it’s appropriate to write to the owner/occupier of the land.
If steps fail to be taken this may result in the decision to serve an enforcement notice, which would require the works to be completed and if this fails to take place this may be an offence (Penalties can be found below).
Don’t get caught out by illegal waste carriers
It is not uncommon for illegal waste carriers to target owners/occupiers of untidy land, especially where there issues are visible on the land.
This may take the form of -
- cold calls
- advertisements on social media platforms such as -
These can tempt customers with cheap rates to dispose of waste.
Householders or businesses found to have used illegal waste carriers and whose wastes are illegally disposed can face enforcement action, which could be in the form of -
- £400 fixed penalty notice
- the recovery of clean-up costs incurred to remove fly tipped wastes
If following a decision to serve an enforcement notice the owner/occupier fails to comply with the requirements listed, this is an offence. Depending on the enforcement notice involved, determines whether one or more of the following actions are taken -
- fixed penalty issued
- enter the land and carry out the requirements listed within the notice in default
- recovery of costs (this may be placed as a Local Land Charge until paid, or otherwise recovered through the Courts)
- prosecution and if convicted a fine of up to £50,000