What to do about neighbours with smoky wood heaters

Wood smoke can become a serious nuisance for those affected, impacting on their health and quality of life. EPA encourages neighbours to resolve problems between themselves where possible. Talk to your neighbour respectfully if their wood heater is producing a lot of smoke, they may not be aware there's a problem. If this doesn't work, report the nuisance to your local council.

Getting further advice

Before talking to your neighbour, think through the issue. Look for guidance on how to resolve a nuisance issue with neighbours to improve your chances of getting a good outcome. Contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria on 1800 658 528.

For advice and information on wood smoke pollution and what to discuss with your neighbour, talk to an environmental health officer (EHO) at your local council.

Your neighbour may need help with reducing the amount of smoke from their wood heater.

Reporting a complaint

If you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbour, you can report an issue of woodsmoke pollution to an EHO at your council. Your council has powers under the nuisance provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. Under these provisions, the owner of a property or the person causing the nuisance must take all reasonable steps to eliminate the nuisance.

If a complaint is made about wood smoke, it is council's role to investigate. Give the EHO clear information about the problem so they can understand and respond to your complaint.


Page last updated on 1 Aug 2016