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Local authority responsibility for statutory nuisance

This content applies to England & Wales

When the local authority itself is responsible for the statutory nuisance.

Local authority powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) are usually delegated to their environmental health department. It is not possible for environmental health departments to take action against their own local authorities under the EPA 1990, although they still have a duty to inspect for statutory nuisance (see the page on Investigative duties for details). However, some environmental health departments may serve 'informal abatement notices' on their own local authorities.[1]

Therefore, if a statutory nuisance arises that is the fault of the local authority, eg if a local authority tenant is experiencing conditions in their property that are prejudicial to health, it is likely to be necessary for action under the EPA 1990 to be taken by the tenant themselves (see the page on Action by occupiers for information).

[1] Cardiff CC v Cross (1982) 6 HLR 1.

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