Odour Nuisance Guidance

A statutory odour nuisance is something that is so offensive and prolonged that it significantly interferes with the enjoyment and use of the affected property.  It only applies to odour from trade or business premises.

We do not have the power to deal with cooking odours from domestic premises, such as people's homes.

Complaints of odour from cigarette smoke, tobacco smoke, pipe smoke, cannabis smoke etc. going from one property to another is not a matter that can be investigated under the Statutory Nuisance regime. Smoking within your own home or garden is considered “reasonable use”. Reasonable use has to be taken into consideration, when assessing statutory nuisances and it is reasonable that a person/people smoke within their own home and in their garden. This is a civil matter.

Possession of cannabis is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. If you are experiencing problems with cannabis odour or smoke, you should report it to Kent Police online or phone 101.

Odour problems we can investigate

The types of odour problems we can investigate are:

  • Accumulations of waste that produce odour.
  • Odour arising from the way someone keeps animals.
  • Odour from industrial, trade, or business premises, including premises such as restaurants and takeaways.

If the source is a commercial premises, such as a restaurant, we cannot enforce any changes if the business has already adopted best practicable methods to reduce the odour.

Many things can affect whether we would consider an odour to be a statutory nuisance.

  • The time of day the odour occurs.
  • How long the odour is a problem.
  • The type of smell and its effects.
  • Together with the character of the area, for example, in the countryside, it is reasonable to expect odour from farming activities.

Depending upon the type of odour, judging whether odour is a statutory nuisance can take time, especially if it is difficult to predict when the odour will occur and if it only lasts for a short period. Report an odour problem online

Common causes of odour: