Environmental Protection Act Overview
Any person aggrieved by risk to health can bring an action to resolve the matter. Sometimes the matter is pursued by way of a housing disrepair case brought using Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (L&T Act). An alternative remedy is that of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA). This is particularly useful for local authority tenants as the local authority environmental health department cannot take action against their own local authority.
Issues such as damp, mould growth or rodent infestation
A tenant suffering with mould caused by inadequate ventilation is unlikely to have a claim under the L & T act but may have a claim under EPA making the EPA a useful weapon with which to bring a claim.
Generally, the EPA claims process involves serving a notice of intention from the aggrieved person on the party responsible for the statutory nuisance. Such notice must include the matter complained of and must be in writing. It should also put the recipient on notice that unless they deal with the nuisance or provide reasonable proposals for dealing with the nuisance then proceedings will be commenced. Further, the notice must be for 21 days and court proceedings cannot be commenced until that period has expired.
If the notice is ignored then the aggrieved person can bring an action in the Magistrates court. It is important to note that the nuisance must still be in existence at the time your notice has expired.
The matter will then either settle by negotiation or proceed for a hearing before the court to determine the outcome.
Although individuals can bring these actions themselves it is recommended due to court complexity that specialist independent advice is obtained.
If you have an issue that is, or could cause, a health risk and want to discuss it then do not hesitate to contact us.
This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.
We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our category.
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