Investigation

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Complaint investigation procedure for potential statutory nuisances

If you make a complaint about a potential statutory nuisance, such as noise, bonfires, smells or artificial lighting we will, where possible, work with you to resolve the problem.

What happens after I make a complaint?

We will write to you to confirm the complaint. We also provide you with a log sheet to record details of the problem with dates and times. This helps us to investigate your complaint. You must return the log sheet within eight weeks of the complaint or we will not proceed any further.

We will write to the person or organisation you are complaining about to

  • tell them a complaint has been made
  • ask them to work with us to reduce the problem

We often find that this initial letter solves the problem. However, if, after a month the problem remains, please return the diary sheet to us. We will use these sheets to determine if further investigation is needed.

What will the council do next?

After we receive your log sheets, we will carry out an investigation. We will assess if a statutory nuisance exists, by looking at:

  • The type of problem
  • The time of day or night it happens
  • How long it goes on for
  • How often it happens
  • How serious it is
  • How it affects you in your home
  • The reasonableness of any action taken to reduce the problem.

If the problem is deemed to be a statutory nuisance we may:

  • Serve an Abatement Notice on the person responsible for the nuisance. The Notice will require them to stop or restrict the nuisance
  • If a notice is served, the recipient can appeal to the Magistrates' Court
  • It is at this stage that you may be required to give evidence in court and your details given to any solicitors acting for the person you are complaining about
  • Should this happen the Council will give you as much advice and support as it can
  • Consider legal action against those persons who are found to be causing a Statutory Nuisance;

If the recipient of the notice fails to comply without a good reason, they are committing an offence and may be prosecuted. The Council will need to witness the nuisance again and you may be required to give evidence in a Magistrates' Court.

If the problem is not deemed to be a statutory nuisance we will:

  • Fully explain the reasons for our decision to you
  • Provide advice as to the other courses of action available to you, including taking your own private action under the same legislation

Where else can I get support?

To help resolve the problem between you and your neighbour you may wish to make use of the local mediation service. It is a free independent service that uses mediators to talk to you and your neighbours to find a solution to the problem. You can contact them at:

Maidstone Mediation Scheme
Community Support Centre
Marsham Street
Maidstone
Kent ME14 1HH
Telephone: 01622 692843
Email: mediate.maidstone@ukline.co.uk
www.maidstonemediation.com