Nuisance: An Increase over the Pandemic

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In a recent Eastern Daily Press article, it was discovered that with an increase in people staying inside, there has been an increase in nuisance claims, more specifically, noise complaints.

The Guardian added that there has been a rise of 67% to the Police relating to noise complaints.

With an increase in the local area, we have provided you with an update on the law of nuisance.

What is a nuisance?

There are two areas of nuisance:

  • Private Nuisance
  • Public Nuisance.

Private Nuisance

Examples of private nuisances are an encroachment on a neighbour’s land (such as an overhanging tree), direct physical injury to a neighbour’s land (such as damage to their property) and interference into a neighbour’s quiet enjoyment of their land (such as noise complaints).

Damage or interference in the enjoyment of land must be substantial or unreasonable, it can arise from a single incident or a combination of incidents, and it can be caused by positive action or an omission. However, to be successful in your claim, the nuisance must be reasonably foreseeable.

What am I entitled to?

The amount of loss that you are entitled to depends on whether you have incurred actual physical damage or unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of your land. If the former, then you would be entitled to costs to remedy the physical damage as well as consequential loss. For the latter, your award is calculated by the diminution of value caused by the nuisance.

Public Nuisance

Examples of a public nuisance are obstructing the highways or allowing your land to be used in such a way as to cause a dangerous environment. More often than not, claims such as these are brought under a statutory offence, such as contamination of water supplies through malpractice.

The key difference between a private nuisance and a public nuisance is that in a public nuisance the claimant does not need to have a personal interest in the land and they are able to claim for personal injury as well.

Contact our Dispute Resolution solicitors today

For practical advice on any type of commercial dispute resolution, as well as any other business legal advice you need to reach your goals, get in touch with our Commercial Dispute Resolution team by completing our online enquiry form or by calling 0330 404 0749.


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