scots law
basic advice from govan law centre

EPA aggrieved person procedure









 

  • You may be an ‘aggrieved person’ if you suffer from a ‘statutory nuisance’ as defined by section 79(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990).

  • In practice, common grounds of complaint may relate to excessive noise; water penetration, dampness and serious disrepair. These problems may fall within either/or section 79(1)(a), (g), and (ga) – as set out below.

‘Section 79(1) - (a) any premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;

(g) noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;

(ga) noise that is prejudicial to health or a nuisance and is emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment in a street [or in Scotland, road]’

  • You are ‘aggrieved’ by a statutory nuisance if it affects you. For example, you are a tenant or resident (including a child) in a house which suffers from serious water penetration – in other words you are affected by the problem. Being ‘aggrieved’ creates ‘title and interest’ to sue – the legal right to utilise the provisions of the EPA 1990.

  • An aggrieved person affected by a statutory nuisance can service ‘notice’ upon the owner of the property or person responsible for creating the nuisance. There is no prescribed form for this notice, however, it must contain certain information to be valid. Contact Govan Law Centre or your local law centre to obtain free help on the how to serve a section 82 notice.

  • In general, a section 82 notice will normally give an owner of property or person responsible for a statutory nuisance 21 days in which to ‘abate the nuisance’ (remedy the problem with whatever measures may be necessary).

  • Where a section 82 notice is ignored, then after the expiry of time period the aggrieved person has the right to raise sheriff court proceedings. These must proceed by way of a summary application at your local sheriff court.

  • If you are on a low or modest income you may be eligible for civil legal aid, which would enable a law centre or local firm of solicitors to raise an action on your behalf. Obtaining civil legal aid also has important consequences with respect to court expenses – for example, if you were to be unsuccessful in your action, it is generally possible to modify expenses against you to nil (because you are in receipt of a civil legal aid certificate). Contact your local law centre if you think you are aggrieved by a statutory nuisance.

  • The Scottish Legal Aid Board has information on eligibility criteria for civil legal aid and advice and assistance.