SMELLS IN OR NEAR THE HOUSE
WATER AND SEWAGE
I live in rented accommodation. What are my basic entitlements?
All tenants are entitled to:
For further details regarding the last points contact the Environmental Health Unit.
What is the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006?
Legislation introduced on 1 April 2007 provided a new structure for the private rented sector in Northern Ireland. Some of the main features of this are:
For more information visit the Department for Social Development website.
Useful Housing Links
Housing Rights Service: www.housingrights.org.uk
www.housingadviceni.org - website to help people find answers to their housing problems
NI Rent Office: www.dsdni.gov.uk
NI Housing Executive: www.nihe.gov.uk
Northern Ireland Environment Agency: www.ni-environment.gov.uk/
SMELLS IN OR NEAR THE HOUSE
I think I can smell gas, what should I do?
If you smell gas or suspect there is a gas leak call the Northern Ireland Gas Emergency Freephone Number 0800 002 001
There's a fish type smell in my living room, what is it?
This may indicate a problem, with your electrical system. Check your plugs and sockets for any damage.
There's a smell in my house – could it be a dead mouse?
If you have had a rodent problem (or if your pet cat sometimes brings in living or dead creatures) a smell may indicate something dead. For advice contact our Pest Control Officer on 028 9250 9250.
There are fields near us where the farmer spreads slurry and the smell is awful at times. What can be done?
As you live in or near the country it is inevitable that you may experience some smells. Factors that may influence whether action could be taken include the frequency and duration of the smell, your proximity to the source of odour and weather conditions as well as best practice.
There's a sewage type smell in my property, what could be causing it?
Check your own drains by lifting the cover of the inspection chamber on your own property. If this is blocked you should contact a private drain cleaner for further advice. If your drains are clear but you think that the main sewer is blocked contact the Northern Ireland Water Helpline 0845 7440088.
The house next door is a dirty premise with a bad smell. What can I do?
Various things such as dog dirt, rubbish and poor hygiene can cause bad smells. If you are having persistent problems try approaching your neighbour to get the matter resolved. If this fails contact the Environmental Health Unit on 028 9250 9250.
I'm worried that my fire might be giving off poisonous fumes
Two types of gas, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide may be given off by any appliance, that is fuelled by gas, coal or oil. Carbon monoxide is odourless and sulphur dioxide has a smell like rotten eggs.
These gases could affect you if your appliance is faulty, the room is not properly ventilated or the chimney or flue is blocked.
Please make sure that your heating appliance is regularly serviced by a qualified engineer and that all chimneys and vents are regularly swept and kept clear. Ensure that your home is properly ventilated and never block any air vents.
A neighbour lights bonfires and the smoke drifts over my house. Is this allowed?
Bonfires can be very irritating to neighbours. Smoke can prevent people from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging washing out. If you are bothered by persistent bonfire smoke it is best to approach your neighbour first and explain the problem.
If this approach fails contact the Council’s Environmental Health Unit and your complaint will be investigated.
I can smell something like white spirits, what could it be?
This may indicate an oil spillage. Firstly check your own oil tank if you have one. If it is not leaking, check around your neighbourhood to see if anyone has lost oil. If there is a spill it needs to be dealt with by a company that specialises in such matters.
Remediation may be expensive so make sure that you contact your house insurers. Oil spills are usually a civil matter between the parties involved but the Council’s Environmental Health Unit can act in an advisory capacity.
WATER AND SEWAGE
Our drain is blocked – what do we do?
Every house has underground pipes connected to it to take sewage or rainwater away. If they become blocked wastewater may overflow from manhole covers or drainage gulleys outside or cause toilets and sinks to empty too slowly.
If only your house is affected and you are an owner-occupier you may need to contact a private drain-clearing specialist. If you live in a tenanted property get in touch with whom you rent from. If more than your house is affected contact the Northern Ireland Water Helpline on 0845 7440088.
If you live in the country, your house may not be connected to the mains sewer but have its own septic tank. A septic tank needs to be emptied once a year. To arrange this phone the Northern Ireland Water Helpline 0845 7440088.
The stream at the bottom of my garden appears to be polluted from my neighbours' septic tank. Who deals with this?
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency is responsible for all water pollution and you should contact them on 028 9025 4754.
What is Street Trading?
Street trading is selling any article or thing, or supplying a service in a street (also includes offering or exposing for sale) and anyone carrying on any of these activities on or near a street can only do so with a valid Street Trading Licence.
The City Council can now enforce this legislation by means of Fixed Penalty, Prosecution and/or Seizure of goods and stall.
Types of street trading are:
Temporary licences can be issued for special events e.g. Oyster Festival.
If you believe someone is trading illegally please contact the Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 028 9250 9250.
How is Street Trading governed?
The Street Trading Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 enables District Councils to regulate Street Trading by preventing undue nuisance, interference or inconvenience to people and traffic.
The Act requires Lisburn City Council to designate specific areas, streets or part thereof in the City as being suitable for street trading [not including Mobile or Temporary Street Trading applications]. This is designed to be an open system, which gives everyone an opportunity to comment on the proposal to permit street trading in a particular area.
What is the fee for a Street Trading Licence?
The fee varies depending on the business:
Who do I contact if I have a problem with my supply of mains water?
Contact NI Water on: 0845 744 0088 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know if I am on a private water supply?
In most instances private water supplies to domestic dwellings are in remote rural areas where there is restricted access to the public water supply from NI Water. A private water supply will come mainly from boreholes, wells and springs. If in any doubt, you can contact the Drinking Water Inspectorate on: 028 9056 9243 or by email to email@example.com
Who do I contact if I have a query about my private water supply?
For private water supplies to a single house or dwelling, contact the Environmental Health Unit of the Council on 028 9250 9250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For private water supplies to two or more houses, or to a commercial premises, contact the Drinking Water Inspectorate on: 028 9056 9243 or by email to email@example.com
I have mice in my house. How long will it take to get rid of them?
If using bait this will take between 4 and 10 days. It will depend on how bad the infestation is and whether all points of entry are now sealed.
I’ve seen a rat in my garden what can I do?
If you see it regularly over a period of 3 – 4 days it may live close by and bait or traps could be used. Make sure there are no sources of food or water for it.
There are birds nesting under my eaves. Can anything be done?
We do not provide a service for dealing with birds. If the birds have already laid eggs wait until the chicks have left the nest and then try to block any holes in the eaves to prevent further nesting.
My neighbour feeds feral cats and they come into my garden. How can I deter them?
We do not provide a service to deal with feral cats. There are chemical deterrents on the market or you might wish to try a water pistol. Sometimes if you have a cat of your own this is the best deterrent.
I've found a wasp’s nest in my attic. Will it be used again next year?
Wasp’s nests are only used once so if you find a large nest in the winter it will not be inhabited again.
I think my cat/dog may have fleas. What should I do?
Get a proprietary flea treatment for your pet from a vet. Look for any signs of flea presence in the house (see Fleas). Your house may need to be fumigated.
I've noticed bats flying from my roof at dusk. Could they be in my roof space?
It's possible, but if so you cannot remove them yourself as they are a protected species. Contact us for more advice.
Can I be made to remove vermin that are on my land?
Yes. The Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act 1919 says “any person who shall fail to take such steps as may from time to time be necessary and reasonably practicable for the destruction of rats and mice on or in any land of which he is the occupier, or for preventing such land from becoming infested with rats or mice, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine.”
Is there a charge for the services of the Pest Control Officer?
There is no charge for advice but there is for the following treatments:
Rodent control £45
Wasps nest destroyed £45
Insecticidal treatment (Ground floor only) £40
However, if you are a Senior Citizen there may be no charge.
I am a Housing Executive/ Housing Association tenant. What do I do if I have pests?
Contact your local Housing Executive/ Housing Association office to see if they can arrange for any appropriate treatment to be carried out
Who do I contact for more information and advice on pest control?
The Pest Control Officer
Lisburn City Council
Island Civic Centre
Tel: 028 9250 9250