Untidy land or garden

Untidy land or garden

If your neighbour lets rubbish to build up on their land, or allows their garden to become overgrown, it could cause problems that affect you. 

Issues could be caused by:

  • overflowing wheelie bins, or a build up of rubbish sacks and other waste
  • rotting food and other materials
  • dense, overgrown vegetation, or a badly managed compost heap

As well as looking unsightly and causing a smell, this could attract all kinds of pests, such as rats, mice, flies and maggots, birds, foxes and other animals. Pests can spread diseases that are harmful to health. 

Wheelie bins that have been overfilled can cause an obstruction, allow waste to blow away and cause a litter problem.

What you can do

If the state of a neighbour's garden or land is causing you problems, try talking to them about it. They may be able to solve the problem without the need for formal action. Find out how to solve a problem with your neighbour.

Is the problem being cause by a neighbour's hedge? See our high hedges information for guidance and advice.

Reporting an untidy garden, land or overflowing wheelie bin

If you are still being affected by a build-up of waste on your neighbour's land or garden please report it to us. We can investigate problems that are causing a statutory nuisance or health risk.*

We need to know:

  • what the problem is and how long it has been going on
  • how it is affecting you - such as not being able to enjoy your garden, having to close your windows

We can't investigate anonymous complaints. We need your name and address because we may need to visit your property.

We won't share your name and address with the person or business that is causing the problem. But, in exceptional circumstances, your details may be quoted if your evidence is used in court.

Photos can help us with our enquiries - but don't take photos if you feel it isn't safe. 

* If an overgrown garden isn't causing a statutory nuisance or health risk, we may still be able to order the owner to tidy it up under planning enforcement rules.

We deal with a build up of dog mess in a neighbour's garden differently - find out more here.

Report untidy land or garden


Protecting your privacy - find out how we keep your information safe.

What we can do

We will investigate to see if the waste, rubbish and vegetation is causing a statutory nuisance or is likely to cause a health risk. 

We can talk to the owner or occupier of the property and explain what action they need to take. We will try and resolve the issue informally, but can take a more formal approach if necessary.

Notices and prosecution

If the problem doesn't improve we can serve a legal notice on the person responsible. If they don't take the action required in the notice we could take further legal action against them.

If they rent their property, they may be breaching their tenancy agreement. We will also check if the problem breaches planning rules.

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We deal with untidy land and garden problems under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Last updated on 05/07/2024