Insanitary living conditions including hoarding and squalor

Insanitary living conditions can be caused by:

  • Hoarding;
  • Rotting food;
  • Animal or human waste;
  • Insect or vermin infestation such as fleas, cockroaches, flies, ants, rats and mice;
  • Offensive odours;
  • Poor house maintenance including issues with plumbing, wiring, structure of house or roof; and
  • Issues with animals such as feeding of stray animals, or large numbers of animals.

City and District Councils are responsible for investigating insanitary living conditions that may be causing a nuisance.
A nuisance is deemed to be created when a situation is offensive or likely to be injurious to health.

Community and Public Health has a responsibility to address health risks caused by insanitary living conditions at a property, to both occupants and visitors. This includes risks of injury, infection, and respiratory issues.

Community and Public Health staff will work with Environmental Health Officers from local councils to make an initial visit to determine if there is a health risk, and who needs to be involved in any resulting intervention. This may include other agencies such as hospitals, older persons health or other services.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.

Contact your local CPH office for further information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Ph: +64 3 687 2600

Ph: +64 3 768 1160

Page last updated: 16/06/2022

Copyright © 2022, Community & Public Health,