Public Health Nuisance/Abatement Notice

A problem with common repairs can become an official public health 'nuisance'. An official 'nuisance' is something that affects people and must be 'abated'. The health of the building cannot be used as a reason to serve a public health notice. These notices are normally served by Environmental Health Officers.

When used

This action focuses on how a nuisance affects a building's occupiers, rather than on preventing damage to the building itself. 

A nuisance can be any problem which prevents you from using or enjoying your property or is harmful to health. It is often used for problems such as dampness, but it can also cover how people use the property, such as storing items on the stair, unhygienic premises, poor refuse disposal, and noise. It can also be used on commercial premises, not just residential flats.

If an owner does not comply with the statutory notice issued by the council, they can be issued with a fixed penalty notice and be forced to pay a fine.

Follow up if no action

  • Fixed Penalty Notice (£400 commercial, £150 domestic), plus fines for everyday the nuisance continues after conviction
  • prosecution

Appeal procedures

  • 21 days
  • appeal to Sheriff Court on administrative grounds
  • affordability is NOT a ground for appeal

Legal references

Environmental Protection Act 1990 s80 (part III, s78 as amended)

Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008 s113 (fixed penalties and fines)