The law generally gives land owners the right to reasonably use and enjoy their property. A nuisance can arise where a land owner uses their property in such a way which infringes these rights for an owner of nearby land.

With commercial property, a neighbouring land owner’s nuisance may impact your business. Alternatively, a neighbour may allege that aspects of your commercial enterprise are unreasonably affecting their enjoyment or use of their land.

Similarly, with residential property, a neighbouring land owner’s nuisance could affect how you use and enjoy your land – or you might be facing allegations from a neighbour that your actions are unreasonably affecting their enjoyment or use of their land.

Whether you believe that you or your business may have a cause of action for nuisance, or are facing a potential nuisance action from a neighbouring land owner, Luscombe Gray can help you achieve the best outcome possible.

Luscombe Gray was founded to give a unique and effective legal service to clients facing commercial and property issues. We take a firm ethical approach to handling your case – a huge difference from the needlessly antagonistic methods employed by many litigation firms.

Your needs and the needs of your business are at the heart of our approach, and if conciliatory means, such as mediation and early negotiation, are in your best interests we will say so. By the same token, we will tenaciously enforce and protect your rights and the rights of your business.

If you would like to discuss how Luscombe Gray can help you or your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Types of nuisance

There are two types of nuisance – private nuisance and public nuisance.

Private nuisance

A private nuisance is an interference with the use or enjoyment of land that causes injury in relation to an ownership right in that land. Some examples of private nuisances include:

  • Flooding, pollution, or contamination from neighbouring land, causing damage or health risks
  • Excessive noise
  • Unpleasant smells
  • Encroachment by elements from neighbouring land, such as tree roots or branches

Public Nuisance

A public nuisance is an act or omission that obstructs, damages or inconveniences the rights of a community at large. Some examples include:

  • Carrying out criminal / immoral activities
  • Setting off fireworks
  • Pollution
  • Keeping a dangerous dog

Sometimes the same issue can amount to a private and a public nuisance, but you can only bring an action for public nuisance if you can show that you have suffered “particular” harm different to that suffered by the general public.

The extent of the nuisance

Assessing whether a nuisance is actionable will involve looking at a number of factors, these include:

  • The locality surrounding the property
  • How frequent and sustained the alleged nuisance is
  • Whether there is any justification for the action which is causing the alleged nuisance
  • Whether the alleged nuisance is being created through malice or spite

Dangerous elements on neighbouring land

Where a nuisance involves a dangerous element being brought to, and kept on, the land, another legal principle may apply. This principle is known as ‘the rule in Rylands v Fletcher’ after the case which established it.

If nearby property is damaged as a result of this ‘dangerous element’ escaping the land on which is has been kept, the owner of that land will be subject to strict liability regarding the damage caused. In other words, there will be no need for the wronged party to show that the land owner’s storage of the dangerous element was negligent to recover damages or obtain another remedy. The circumstances of the element’s ‘escape’ would be irrelevant.

Instructing Luscombe Gray

Many aspects of an action for nuisance depend upon the individual circumstances of the situation at hand. This can make it difficult to assess your legal position without specialist knowledge of the law on nuisance. This is where an experienced property litigation solicitor can prove invaluable.

Luscombe Gray is a boutique commercial and property litigation firm, providing a tailor-made service to all of our clients.

We believe first-class commercial legal support should be available to all. Whether you need advice as an individual, or on behalf of your business – whatever its size – we are more than willing to provide our services and put our specialist skill and knowledge at your disposal.

Your case will be handled by Chris Luscombe personally, so you can be certain that you or your business will be able to call upon the expertise of an experienced property litigation solicitor. Throughout his career, Chris has helped a wide range of clients with their property disputes, from private clients, to small businesses, national pub companies, and multi-national telecoms giants.

Luscombe Gray is based in the heart of Yorkshire, in Harrogate, with the reach to assist clients across the country.

If you or your business needs legal support concerning a nuisance, contact Luscombe Gray for clear, ethical, expert advice.

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