Statutory nuisances and the definition of an owner

Managing agents for property can be served directly with nuisance abatement notices, according to the High Court. The relevant sections of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 strangely contain no definition of an owner, but in London Borough of Camden v Gunby (Queen's Bench Division, 5 July 1999) the Court was prepared to read in definitions from previous public health legislation which clearly included an agent within the concept. The point is clearly a narrow one but has important practical implications which will assist local authorities in applying statutory nuisance controls.

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