Are you facing disruptions on your property? Nuisances often take the form of noise, vibrations, overpowering smells, and other conditions that impede or inhibit a person from enjoying their property. Nuisance laws are intended to prevent situations like these.
There are three types of nuisance claims:
Intentional nuisance implies that the defendant intentionally caused the interference with the landowner’s use and enjoyment of their property.
Negligent nuisance suggests that interference with the landowner’s user of enjoyment of their land is the result of the defendant’s negligence.
Strict-liability nuisance occurs when a defendant can be held strictly liable for a nuisance when the defendant’s conduct is an “abnormally dangerous activity”. It does not matter if the defendant’s conduct is out of place in its surroundings. Strict liability principles are reserved for the most dangerous or risky activities or conduct. To prove a nuisance claim, you must prove not that the defendant’s conduct or use of land is unreasonable, but that the effects of the interference are unreasonable.
How would you determine this? The standard for determining whether the effects of the interference are unreasonable is objective. The defendant’s conduct or land use must be such that would “disturb and annoy persons of ordinary sensibilities, and of ordinary tastes and habits.”
The determination of the disruption would also consist of a variety of factors, such as:
- The character and nature of the neighborhood, each party’s land usage, and social expectations;
- The location of each party’s land and the nature of that locality;
- The extent to which others nearby are engaging in similar conduct in the use of their land;
- The social use of each property;
- The tendency or likelihood that the defendant’s conduct will cause interference with the plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of their land;
- The magnitude, extent, degree, frequency, or duration of the interference and resulting harm;
- The relative capacity of each party to bear the burden of ceasing or mitigating the usage of their land;
- The timing of each party’s conduct or usage that creates the conflict;
- The defendant’s motive in causing the interference; and
- The interests of the community and the public at large.
Nuisance claims are a complex area of law. If you believe you are suffering from a nuisance, or if you are being sued for nuisance claim, we invite you to contact one of our experienced real estate attorneys at 713-572-4900.