Last Updated on 9.8.21 by Shelley Bower
Danielle Clements, specialist in property litigation and dispute at Gorvins Solicitors, has warned the Daily Mail how you could become an accidental law breaker in the summer heatwave
Following the news of the first hosepipe ban in six years, Clements said: ‘It’s natural in this seemingly relentless heat to either try and keep cool or to take advantage of the good weather.
‘And it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that just because you own or rent your property, you’re well within your rights to do whatever you like.
‘But it’s so easy to get on the wrong side of the law for what may seem like a perfectly innocent action,’ Clements said.
Here’s how you could be breaking the law in the hot weather without knowing it.
- After it was announced that seven million Britons will be hit by the hosepipe ban by United Utilities in the North West and that offenders could face fines of up to £1,000.
- If children are using a trampoline in the garden, Clements said that parents should think about the position before erecting it. ‘If it’s located in a spot where users can see into your neighbours’ gardens or homes, as they bounce away, you could be invading your neighbour’s right to privacy.’
- Splashing around in a hot tub or children making a lot of noise while in a paddling pool could also constitute a noise nuisance for some neighbours. In addition to this, kids who decided to play ‘knock-a-door-run’ could face a fine of up to £500.
- The Metropolitan Police Act 1854 made it an offence in the Capital to ‘wilfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant by pulling or ringing any doorbell or knocking at any door without lawful excuse,’ Clements said, which means the child would be fined due to trespass, if the house is not on a terrace and does not open out to a street.
- Alongside this, while drying washing outside could be an inexpensive alternative to using a tumble dryer, Clements pointed out that ‘If your property is subject to a “restrictive covenant” it may well ban the hanging out the washing or airing clothing outside.’
- A barbecue may also prove to cause some problems if the smoke drifts into your neighbour’s garden, especially if their washing is out. As could watering plants with a hose attached to your neighbour’s wall, cutting back trees in your neighbour’s garden or taking fruit from trees that are not your own.
- As gardens still fall under UK nudity laws, neighbours can report you if they see you sunbathing topless, especially if there is any evidence stripping was done deliberately or to provoke a reaction from the community.
- While stripping off indoors is not illegal, if you can be seen from the outside, the nudity becomes a regular occurrence and complaints have been made against you, authorities could take action under the Public Order Act 1986, where it could be described as ‘disorderly behaviour’.