Nuisance has two aspects. The first is private nuisance and the second is public nuisance.
Private nuisance - is a claim which can be brought by you if your land has been affected by a nuisance of some sort. The claim is brought against the creator of that nuisance. The creator can be the person creating the nuisance (even if that person is not in occupation of the land), the occupier of the land from which the nuisance originates or the owner of the land.
There are many different examples of nuisance, including nuisance caused by noise, leaks, smells, encroaching tree branches or roots and even escaping cricket balls. However, the list is not a closed one. Typically, a nuisance is caused as a result of an unreasonable use of someone else’s land which has an adverse effect on your land.The Court is interested in whether your land has suffered physical damage, or if there is no physical damage, whether your quality of enjoyment of your land is sufficiently reduced.
If you say that your quality of enjoyment has been reduced the Court will go on to consider a variety of additional factors. For example -
The duration of the nuisance. If the event is rare, the Court is less likely to say that it amounts to nuisance, unless the event that occurs rarely is sufficiently serious.
The normal use of the land. If your neighbour is using their land in a normal and acceptable way, the court is less likely to make a finding of nuisance.
The intention of your neighbour. If your neighbour intends to cause problems for you then the court is more likely to consider that their action(s) amount to nuisance.
Public nuisance - you must be able to show that the nuisance has wide ranging adverse effect on a class of people in society. You must then go on to show that you have suffered particular damage yourself. However, you do not need to own the land itself. Examples of public nuisance include obstructions to the highway and unauthorised raves.
If the court makes a finding of nuisance, it can order your neighbour to stop the nuisance from happening. You may also be able to claim for any loss that you have suffered.
Powell Eddison are able to provide advice in relation to a potential claim for private or public nuisance that you may have.