“It’s not my waste. Why do I have to dispose of it?”
Some sections of alleyways are privately owned by the houses adjoining them; others are unregistered land. Different legislation gets used in these 2 scenarios, but under both pieces of legislation, people living in houses adjoining the section of the alley where the waste is, should be keeping their section clean and clear of waste. If the land is privately owned, landowners and agents also have responsibility.
The requirement to dispose of the waste is based on your legal responsibility to keep the alley clear, not on whether it was your waste.
If there is any proof of who fly-tipped the waste, the council will investigate this and can ask the offender to remove the waste. However, you remain legally responsible for keeping the alley clean and clear of waste.
“I never use the alley. Why am I responsible for clearing waste from it?”
If a section of the alley is your private property, as defined by your Title Deeds, you are responsible for looking after that land regardless whether or not you use it. If the alley adjoining you is unregistered land, the responsibility comes from the right recorded in your Title Deeds to use the alleyway, not from whether you exercise the right to use it or not.
“It’s not my responsibility to keep the alley clean”
Whilst many people do not realise, they are responsible for keeping an adjoining section of alley clean and clear, the fact is that legislation dictates that there is a duty to keep an alleyway clean and clear.
“Will the council remove it because it has been fly-tipped.”
The council does remove waste from land which it owns or manages, including highways, but we have no duty, or indeed right, to clear waste from land that we do not own or manage , unless someone books our services to get specific waste removed. This is a chargeable service.
“I can’t get the waste removed in time to meet the deadline.”
Please contact the case officer as soon as you can, to tell them why you will not be able to meet the deadline and when you will be able to move it by. Depending on the type and amount of the waste, there may be the possibility to extend the deadline on a case by case basis and this is always easier if you call us to discuss as early as possible.
“Will the council remove this waste because it has been fly-tipped on my land?”
The council does remove waste from land which it owns or manages, including highways, but we have no duty, or indeed right, to clear waste from land that we do not own or manage, unless someone books our services to get specific waste removed. This is a chargeable service.
“Who is responsible – me or my landlord?”
There may be some conditions in your tenancy agreement which specify this. However, a tenancy agreement is a civil agreement between you and your landlord. Under the relevant legislation we use to require that pest control is introduced, both owners and occupiers can be asked to introduce this pest control. In these cases only one pest control treatment is needed and in most cases we do not mind who does this. Liaise with your landlord or tenant to decide who will arrange this and whether the cost can be split.
“Why is it my responsibility and not the Council's.”
The Council does not have a legal obligation to provide a pest control service. However, under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, it is the occupier's responsibility to keep their land free from vermin.
“I can’t afford professional pest control.”
In severe cases of rats in your garden, it may seem like a large financial cost to introduce pest control. However, if left untreated, the damage caused by rats could be a lot more than the cost of a professional riddance program.
“They are not on my land; they are coming from next door.”
An officer from Environmental Protection or Housing Services may visit to establish the source of the infestation and appropriate action can be taken.
“Can I treat the problem myself if I buy the poison.”
Yes, you can. Bait can be purchased from reputable hardware shops and garden centres. It is essential that you follow the instructions when using the product. Serious infestation may still require professional help to eradicate the problem completely.
“Poison is a health risk, therefore the Council must have an obligation to treat.”
Local authorities do not have a legal obligation to treat properties. However, owners and occupiers do have an obligation to keep their own land free from rodents and the Council can take formal action to ensure properties and land are kept free from such pests.
“How do I dispose of dead rats or mice.”
If you treat them yourself then they should be bagged and disposed of in the black bin. Rats and mice will often return to their nests to die and if these are in warm areas of houses and buildings an offensive odour may become apparent, which can last up to 14 days.