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Reporting Neighbor's Unlicensed Cleaning Business

My neighbors are running a cleaning business without a license. They have cleaning products in the backyard shed without it being locked. We have kids playing outside and they can easily be accessed. Who can I contact to report this?

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April 26, 20180 found this helpful

I would call the town hall and ask what department handles this.

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April 26, 20180 found this helpful

There are several agencies that deal with this type of problem.

  • You can call your local city and/or county main office and explain your concern and they should be able to direct you to the appropriate agency.
  • If possible, you should have the person's name and address when you call.
  • They may pay you a visit before they complete their on site inspection.
  • Here is a link to report also. This is for larger "spills" and things but they will answer you and tell you who to contact.
  • echo.epa.gov/report-environmental-violations
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April 26, 20180 found this helpful

Before reporting this, why not ask your neighbor to lock up the chemicals?

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April 26, 20180 found this helpful

Do you want to consult with your neighbors before reporting? After all, they are your neighbor and I am sure when the cops show up - they'll say a neighbor complaint?

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You can contact your local police station and ask to be remain anonymous , then report the tip.

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April 27, 20180 found this helpful

You say children could easily have access. What would your children be doing in a shed in a neighbors backyard? Before you worry about your neighbor's business license and shed, maybe you should be teaching your children to respect other people's property. I'm really not trying to be snarky here - but i'd be devastated if my children went unauthorized on someone else's property and got into something they shouldn't be in.

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May 2, 20180 found this helpful

I am appalled at the attitude of some parents. Children were trespassing on my property. I asked the parent to not allow the children to do this. She adamantly replied 'THEY'RE CHILDREN'!, as if that made it OK for them to trespass.

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This is not a police matter. City inspections could have jurisdiction here. All cities have a department that issues business licenses. The city looses revenue when licenses are not purchased and they don't take the matter lightly. Either Inspections or Business Licensing would be a good place to call.

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May 31, 20180 found this helpful

Is it really necesary to report them? Sure, it would be lovely if in 2018 every last person could have some sort of June Cleaver existence of Good Union Job and comfortable office sinecure and to not have to put up with these random yahoos and their cottage industries, but the social reality is different and the real question is, is it worth it? Is it worth it to ruin someone's life over an essentially aesthetic or value judgment? After all, I think that a cleaning business is much better than, say, a meth lab or an illegal cookery, where you not only have to deal with weird oil smells but also a bunch of randos coming to the neighborhood at all hours.

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The other points re it being the parents' responsibility to not have the kids go into neighbors yards is relevant and, unless these toxic chemicals are really seeping into the ground or giving off vapours, this is not a brilliant argument. If the kids did go into a neighbors private property/yard (even if the neighbors were not conducting some business or other) and the kids did become poisoned, I don't believe the neighbor would be legally liable unless they left the chemicals in an easily accesible, more public space, like the front porch - or unless they invited the kids over.

Also how do you know they're not licensed, and are you aware of the business ordinances in your area? If they are so stringent that residents cannot have a home office and a storage place for chemicals then basically every last piano tutor or licensed therapist or freelance writer is also breaking the law by having a home office. What I'm saying is it's not that clear cut to me that they are breaking the law. It would be good to check before starting on some crusade

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the more obvious solution to me if the chemicals really seem that offensive is to try to communicate with them to resolve that issue. Unless they are directly contaminating the environment or unless their business requires high traffic at odd hours or in any other way makes life directly dangerous and threatening it may be best to actually talk with them or let sleeping dogs lie.

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