Skip to main content
Creating a better place

Property and Landowners – how to avoid waste criminals

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Waste

Criminals operating in the waste industry impact us all. They cause damage to our environment, distress affected communities and undercut legitimate waste businesses.

As a land or property owner, you are at risk too. Waste criminals may offer you cash to store waste on your land or in your property, promising to remove it later. Or they may just dump it illegally without your knowledge.

Dumped waste causes contamination and is a major fire risk. You will have to pay for its lawful removal and your insurance premiums may increase.

Protect yourself

We urge you to check your empty land and property regularly and make sure they are secure and follow these steps to check out prospective tenants before renting out your land and property:

  1. Carry out rigorous checks on prospective new tenants:
    • Make sure you see adequate identification documents and secure a down payment from a traceable bank account.
    • Use freely available information such as Companies House Beta.
    • If you are renting to a newly formed company, make sure you meet and initially deal with the Company Director.
    • Investigate the status of the new company’s finances to ensure they are strong.
    • Check if the new company has a website and look to see if contact details match those you have been given.
    • Ensure you know what business they intend to carry out on your premises.
    • If it is a waste business, the operator must have the right environmental permits from the Environment Agency. If you plan to carry out any waste activities yourself, you will also need to have the right environmental permits for your land to be used in this way.
    • You will also need planning permission from your local council:
    • If they are moving waste, they need a waste carriers’ registration, which you can check on our public register.
    • Be cautious if your prospective new tenants arrive on foot and not in a vehicle.
    • Make sure you check out the details of any witness to the lease agreements, to be sure they are plausible and traceable.
    • Secure a down payment.
  1. Regularly check tenants are operating properly
    • Any of the following could indicate they are not operating the business they said:
      • More lorry movements that you would expect for their business
      • Activities on site at strange hours of the day and night
      • Evidence of unusual odours and/or pests
      • Complaints from adjacent tenants about their new neighbours.
  1. Report suspected illegal activity
    • If you discover anyone in the act of dumping waste on your land or in your property, do not approach them as they may be dangerous. Call the Police on 999
    • If you are approached to store waste for someone else, discover waste has been dumped in your property or on your land, report it to the Environment Agency incident hotline number (24 hour service): 0800 80 70 60

Sharing and comments

Share this page

Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.