What is a Nuisance and when can a claim be brought?

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A nuisance arises when another’s act or failure to act affect the way you enjoy your property.

Generally, a nuisance is seen as anything that hurts, causes inconvenience or damage to your property or enjoyment of it. Examples of nuisance can range from noise pollution caused by a waste disposal business nearby to your property to damp emanating from a neighbouring property and causing damage to your property.

The law of nuisance provides you with a remedy to protect you from a substantial and unreasonable interference to your property or the use or enjoyment of your land caused by another’s actions such as a neighbour or the council.

Even if the act done is in itself lawful such as planting an oak tree close to a nearby property this will not necessarily stop it from being a nuisance should the tree be allowed to grow to such an extent that its roots cause structural damage to an adjacent  property.

Very often a nuisance is an on going act or failure to act each act or failing to act can in itself gives rise to a new claim for nuisance. Where the interference with the property is huge and continuous it may be possible to obtain an injunction against your neighbour to prevent the nuisance from continuing and to have the damage rectified and/or obtain damages for any fall in the value of your property caused by the nuisance.

Where there is a claim for nuisance you will need to prove that the nuisance caused the damage and it will often be necessary to obtain an expert’s report such as one by a surveyor or structural engineer setting out the damage caused to your property and the cause of it.

Claims involving the law of nuisance usually involve disputes between neighbours. However, recently there has been an increase in claims against Local Councils who have failed to maintain or repair land or properties owned by them and have allowed a nuisance to arise affecting neighbouring land or properties with adverse consequences.

Examples of claims for nuisance against Councils are where the Council have boarded up houses and ignored any complaints by neighbours of damp or leaks emanating from the property. We have dealt with a claim where a badly constructed wall built by the Council next door created a nuisance that damaged our client’s property.

This is a complex area of the law. Quinn & Co have experience in acting for clients in bring or defending claims in nuisance. If you believe that you may have a case involving nuisance please contact Joseph Quinn on 01392 248858 to discuss your case and see how we can help you.


This article is provided free of charge for information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such.


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