Report rubbish and drainage issues on private land

Find out what you can do about rubbish on private land, what a filthy and verminous property is and how to report drainage issues.

What you can do about rubbish on private land

The land owner is responsible for clearing waste from their land, even if someone else has dumped it there. Find out how to report fly-tipping.

We can only force the land owner to clear waste from private land, if it could cause the spread of disease. Waste like soft bedding that vermin can nest in or food waste could spread disease.

We cannot force people to remove other rubbish like building rubble, car parts, discarded furniture or electrical equipment.

If a build up of rubbish is having considerable visual impact, you can report it to planning enforcement

Find out more about waste and rubbish issues.

What a filthy and verminous property is

Filthy or verminous properties are ones which could cause problems to health. 

This includes things like rotting food waste, faecal contamination or where there’s a high number of vermin. 

Properties in this state are sometimes associated with individuals who have lost the ability to look after themselves. They’re also linked to people who are hoarding a lot of items. 

You can find guidance on hoarding from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

We have powers under the Public Health Act 1936 to resolve these issues. We must pay attention to individual's rights and our enforcement policy

Report a drainage issue

All drainage issues will likely either be the responsibility of the land owner or Southern Water. The Southern Water website has information on who is responsible for a drainage issue.

If a drainage issue is affecting another property, like a broken pipe causing damp in another house, we can get involved. 

We’ll get involved if the individual or company who’s responsible for the drain is not repairing it. 

If the drainage issue is from a business, please report it through our online environmental health contact form

You can also send an email to or phone 01273 294 266.

If a privately rented home is causing the problem and the landlord is not fixing it, please send an email to or phone 01273 293 156.

Private water supplies

All private water supplies should be registered with the council. 

Find more information on private water supplies, from the Drinking Water Inspectorate.