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Flashcards in Land Torts - Private Nuisance Deck (64)
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What is the underlying objective of Land Torts?

They seek to protect an individual’s ability to use and enjoy their land freely without unwanted and unwarranted interference from others.


What is the Land Tort of Private Nuisance?

Percy Winfield - 'any unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land or some right over it'.


What is the objective of Private Nuisance?

It seeks to regulate the relationship between neighbours, defining their mutual rights and obligations with respect to their use of their property.


What key distinction is there within the Land Tort of Private Nuisance?

Since St Helen’s Smelting Co v Tipping a distinction is drawn between damage to property and interference with use and enjoyment; most nuisance cases concern the latter.


What does Private Nuisance concern?

It concerns indirect interferences and is only actionable with proof of damage.


Which case saw the delineation of three specific categories within Private Nuisance?

Lord Lloyd in Hunter v Canary Wharf identified three distinct categories of Private Nuisance.


What are the three delineated categories of Private Nuisance laid down in Hunter v Canary Wharf?

‘Private nuisances are of three kinds. They are (1) nuisance by encroachment on a neighbour’s land; (2) nuisance by direct physical injury to a neighbour’s land and (3) nuisance by interference with a neighbour’s quiet enjoyment of his land’


What are the four hurdles to claims in Private Nuisance?

1. Standing
2. Emanation
3. Showing defendant is an unreasonable user (many things to weigh up – the ‘matrix of factors’)
4. Potential Defences for the Defendant


What is needed to establish legal standing?

An individual seeking to make a claim under Private Nuisance must have some interest in the land that has been unreasonably interfered with.


Which cases illustrates the standing requirement for private nuisance claims?

Malone v Laskey - Woman hit on head after vibrations from neighbour’s generator caused it to fall off the wall. It was held she had insufficient standing to sue.


Who can be sued under Private Nuisance?

Under Private Nuisance a suit can be made against the creator or adopter of a nuisance. The key question is who has possession and control?


Which case demonstrates who can be sued under Private Nuisance?

Cocking v Eacott


What are the details and findings of the Cocking v Eacott case?

W owned a house and allowed her daughter E to live there. E created a nuisance by shouting and allowing her dog to bark. It was held that both W & E were jointly liable. E as she had possession and control. W was in control of the property even though not occupying it.


What can a person be sued for under Private Nuisance?

1. To get them to stop doing what they’re doing on their land (injunction – partial or full)
2. Damages to compensate for either property damage (if this has occurred) or lost enjoyment of land (lost amenity)


What is the slight restriction on what can be sued for under private nuisance?

Individuals can only claim for harm done to the land (though this can include harm to its ‘amenity’).


What is the potential difficulty when suing for damages as a result of private nuisance?

If loss has been suffered because of a nuisance then damages will be available. Where the loss is damage to property, quantification is straightforward, but damages for interference with amenity and personal ‘discomfort’ are more problematic.


Which case illustrates a successful actions under Private Nuisance?

Bone v Seale - Neighbours successfully sued for loss of amenity caused by smells from local pig farm.


Is there a requirement of reasonable foreseeability for successful actions under Private Nuisance?

Seemingly yes, as with negligence, it seems that liability in nuisance will only arise where the damage caused to the claimant’s land is reasonably foreseeable.


What reinforces the notion that there is a reasonable foreseeability requirement for successful action under Private Nuisance?

Lord Goff's words in the Cambridge Water Case, effectively he said that foreseeability should be required in claims for damages to land and private nuisance as this is a requirement in many personal injury cases (e.g. negligence cases).


What is the emanation requirement under Private Nuisance?

It was established in the case of Hunter v Canary Wharf that, for a Private Nuisance claim to have any chance of success, there must be an emanation - something (for example a smell, smoke, or noise) must move from one neighbour's onto another's.


What is the unreasonable use by the defendant requirement?

This centres around the question of whether there was an unreasonable interference with the claimant's use and enjoyment of land?


What is the purpose of the unreasonable use by the defendant requirement?

This hurdle is designed to distinguish between interferences that can and can't ground claims for Private Nuisance - not every interference with a person's use and enjoyment of land can amount to a private nuisance.


What are the three categories of factors the courts can take into account when determining whether a defendant has exercised unreasonable use?

1. Factors that are always considered
2. A factor that is sometimes considered, dependant on the type of claim
3. Other factors that are sometimes considered, if relevant to the claim


What are the factors that are always considered by the courts?

Intensity – including duration, frequency and timing of the interference.


What is the factor that is sometimes considered depending on the type of claim?

The nature of the locality.


What are the other factors that are sometimes considered if relevant to the claim?

Sensitivity of the claimant and bad intentions of the defendant.


What is the purpose of the intensity consideration?

The intensity consideration is designed to act as a tool to find a balance between those interferences that are unreasonable and those that should be put up with.


What was said regarding the balancing act carried out by the intensity consideration?

The case of Kennaway v Thompson identified the position that actions for Private Nuisance may only arise where 'the irritating noise causes inconvenience beyond what other occupiers in the neighbourhood can be expected to bear' indeed, 'there must be a measure of give and take' - the intensity consideration performs this distinguishing role.


How may the nature of the locality play a part in the courts judgement upon 'unreasonable' land use?

The reasonableness of the use of land can depend on, alongside other considerations, the character or nature of the area of land it is in – its 'locality'.


What was said regarding the potential influence of the nature of the locality by LJ Thesiger in Sturges v Bridgman?

It was said that - “What would be a nuisance is Belgrave Square would not necessarily be so in Bermondsey”