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Complaints procedure

This content applies to England & Wales

Making a complaint where the local authority does not follow the correct procedure to remedy a statutory nuisance, or where the desired outcome is not achieved.

There may be some situations where the above procedures are not followed correctly, or where the desired outcome is not achieved. Examples could be:

  • where no inspection by the local authority Environmental Health Officer (EHO) takes place, or where it is unreasonably delayed
  • where an EHO does not agree that a statutory nuisance exists
  • where an EHO agrees that statutory nuisance exists but will not take further action.

In these situations, it may be possible to use the local authority's internal complaints procedure and, if still dissatisfied, complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (see the page Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) for more on this) or the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Alternatively, it may be appropriate for the aggrieved person(s) to start proceedings themselves (see the page on Action by occupiers for details); to arrange an inspection by an independent EHO, or to gather medical evidence in order to try to persuade the local authority to take further action.

It may also be possible to take the actions of a local authority or a magistrates' court to judicial review on a legal or procedural point. Judicial review is a general legal remedy that can be used to challenge all administrative decisions of local authorities and other public bodies. It can only be used to challenge the manner in which decisions have been made, rather than the actual decision itself.

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