What can I do about cooking smells coming through from next door?

26 June 2018


There are cooking smells coming through from next door following my neighbours renovating their kitchen. What can I do?

RH, Altrincham


Paula Higgins, chief executive, Homeowners Alliance says: I feel your pain. Having pungent cooking smells infiltrating your home can be unpleasant to say the least. Indeed, unwanted smells are such a problem there are laws in place to prevent them. Furthermore, if cooking smells are getting into the house, cigarette smoke/carbon monoxide could presumably also come through.

Under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990, smells that are deemed to be a ‘statutory nuisance’ can result in hefty fines for homeowners.

However, the phrase ‘statutory nuisance’ is key here. The offending smell must qualify in order for action to be taken. Odours that are classed as nuisances under the EPA include accumulation of waste or smells coming from vermin-infested properties. And you can complain to your council’s environmental department about these.

Unfortunately, however, they won’t do much about cooking smells from domestic properties.

If you’re on good terms with your neighbours, you could mention the issue to them yourself, although be warned this could be an awkward conversation!

You say they recently had some work done. It might be worth checking whether the works complied with building regulations and see what ventilation system has been installed (is there an extractor fan?) – again, this would involve a polite conversation with your neighbour.

If you think building regulations haven't been complied with, you could contact the building regulations department of your council to see if it will get involved.

Short of this, all you can really do is try your best to minimise the smells in your property. An air purifier may help. You could also try leaving a bowl filled with white vinegar or baking soda in the room most affected overnight. This should dissipate the smells.

Paula Higgins is chief executive of property help portal, the HomeOwners Alliance and is one of the organisation’s co-founders.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Can you explain what law the cooking smell from neighbours house is in place,eg where can i read this law thank you

cooking smell

Have tried to reach council and owner of property while renovation and after but has not helped since property developers are well equiped with laws required and need of housings.
Any other way to stop smell sneeking through my kitchen and bathroom vents?

Cooking smells

I have a similar problem with the neighbours. Since they moved in cooking oil or fat comes through the floor in the upstairs room (up to three times a day) - my daughter cannot sleep there. Last week around 8pm there was such an intense garlic smell, we shut her bedroom door, but also the smell comes through the boiler cupboard (also upstairs). Usually these are deep fried food odours. If I open the windows they come as well, when I shut the windows, smell comes via the floor and boiler cupboard!

The landlord of the next door preperty does not care neither his tenants.

In reply to by MagdaR (not verified)

I also can smell food…

I also can smell food through the boiler cupboard did you find solution?

Cooking smells

There is a guy who lives in the flat underneath mine, it’s a small block 4 double studios. When he used to get takeaways it were fine but he started cooking about a year ago and whatever he cooks, the stench is vile and lingers for days. He is from Somalia and lives alone and NEVER opens the kitchen window when cooking, so the smell comes up to my flat. Yes i even get the smell in the cupboard where the boiler is too. On Sunday night goodness knows what he cooked but when i opened my lounge door to go into the hallway I was hit by the smell, also in my kitchen and bathroom. It’s taken 2 days to get rid of the smell and today i arrived hime and our communal hallway stinks, it has got to be one of the worst smells ever, i have smelt some bad things but started gagging at this one..
I sprayed the conmunal hallway and opened the windows but can still smell it.

In reply to by MagdaR (not verified)

Smelly neighbors

We should form a group take it to parliament why should we put up with these vile smells of their food.

In reply to by Elaine (not verified)

If you have formed a group…

If you have formed a group can you please let us know. I would like to join you.

In reply to by Elaine (not verified)

Neighbours cooking ruining my home

Please let me know of you form a group I will join.

It’s time to take action…

It’s time to take action against these people we need to form a group.

Awful Smell

My Neighbours Are A Nuisance However Whenever They Cook I’ve Got A Awful Smell Of Burnt Oil Seeping Through Into My House.. She’s Always Setting Off The Smoke Alarm. How Can I Get The Landlord To Check Whether They’re Appliance Is Legal.. The Fumes Are Not Any That’s Suggested On Any Website & It’s not CO poisoning..

Cooking smells

My neighbours moved in below me I live on the third floor at a co-op . For one year now just about every day no matter what time of day or night they cook with a unbelievable spice. I’m a long haul truck driver Dec 2, 2018 come off the road to be home for Christmas I was woken up in the middle of the night from this horrible smell got up looking and smelling everything everywhere I was going crazy it was hard to find because my hole apartment smelt my time at home was not good went back to work in January 2019 still not meeting my neighbours yet. I smelt the same thing every time I came home I got sick with what I thought was the flew it turned out to be pneumonia I was so sick could hardly breathe/ in mid March I met my neighbour for the first time introduced myself to him we shook hands and after a short talk I asked him if maybe for a little while if they could stop using their cooking fan because of my pneumonia. He oh for sure no worries he then said he had to go I said okay see you later nice meeting you and he left 30 minutes later they drawn me with their smell from cooking I couldn’t believe it every day all the time Met with the. CO-OP board they said that they are supporting their culture cooking and have someone come and check out the kitchen fans and I’m still waiting I have talked to the office many times but nothing Mr. Lorrie Dovich Surrey BC

health affected by cooking smell from neighbour

I have the same problem. We decided now to ask a builder to help us with the smell of oil,oven from our neighbour. We exhausted all our effort by contacting council and environmental health but landlord from next door is not very cooperative. Not even coming to our house even though we invited them to have a look themselves to show them what we meant. Our health is affected because even when we are asleep and tenant will cook, then we are defenseless, as we are unable to open the windows when we are asleep. I think UK needs a strong building regulation law on what exhaust/extractor in a terrace house kitchen.

cooking, shoes smell, b O from neighbour forced to sell up

I am in sympathise with your sufferings. I am at wit's end and contemplating suicide. They don't care, in fact, they deliberately do it, so best not complaint because it only made worst I am at their mercy. I have to put property into the market or I would so something I would regret and no way out. I live next to benefit cheat, e.g. there are only two beds and claiming for 4 beds each week seeing the mail comes. Worst of all, they use my address to pay their car tax. trafficking illegal people and use this apartment for a stopover. so the B O is so bad I am forced to leave windows and doors to air. Only to find they break into my home to defecated in my living room and this to punish me. bad smell from every aspect of their flat. the constant smell all day and night.

All kinds if fumes

I have the same problem with my neighbors every time the cook or paint I get the smells all over my home contacted environmental health but environmental health passed it on to housing department they have done nothing I have COPD so breathing is difficult at the best of Times surely something can be done

neighbour's next door NO RESPECT re noise and vile food smell

L live in small 2 bed house we have people from EU next door speak no English have no respect regarding noise and awful food smells all through day and night there are so many men that go into house and lots of coming and going's after dark spoke to landlord police and Enviromentl health ???????? say no more

Smelly foods should be banned from rented places

My brother used to live in a apartment and he had a roommate living with him.Anyway,his roommate was from another country and cooked organic foods that were very smelly. My brother told his roommate to stop cooking them because he found them bothersome and to strong to his senses. But,of course his roommate refused to cooperate so my brother let him go and told he would have to move out.He did move and that corrected that problem. I agree,that there should be a limit to what people are cooking in their apartments,homes,mini homes and etc because why should other people smell other's foods? It's not right or fair to other people and then there's those who have allergies to certain foods.The way i see it,if landlords don't allow pets in rented places then why are they allowing people to cook and smell up rented apartments and so on.There is such a thing as air pollution and that is FOOD POLLUTION. It shouldn't be allowed. and i figure it's only right!

Noise and food smell

I know what you mean. The guy downstairs..literally if he is not cooking goodness knows what that has the stench from hell, he is waking me up in the early hours with his television which must have either a massive set of speakers attached to it or a soundbar, it sounds like i am in a stadium not my flat. He has the volume reasonable at 9pm but after midnight turns it UP, last night this went on till 6am. Noise patrol camden are useless and are not fit for purpose and the complaints team had the nerve to ask if I'm complaining because he's from somalia??? Id complain no matter where he was from

Riverside Kingwater

They built this building with a disappointing result. Holes in the walls and food stink coming in through cupboards and places where it shouldn’t. Who do they employ to design such shite. Never buy from them never rent from them. The worst builders in the business. Just interested in profit build them high and pack them in.

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