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Private Nuisance Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Tort Law Notes

This is an extract of our Private Nuisance document, which we sell as part of our GDL Tort Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Tort Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Revision: Tort

[PRIVATE NUISANCE]

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Bamford v Turnley:- 'any continuous activity or state of affairs causing a substantial and unreasonable interference with a plaintiff's land or his use or enjoyment of that land'

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Must prove damage (not actionable per se) but can be 'sensible personal discomfort' as well as actual physical damage

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Must have some duration and must be more than trivial

Who can sue?

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Must have a legal interest in land (possessionary or proprietary - (freehold/leasehold))

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Mere permission to use/occupy is insufficient

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Basis for this is that a claim in nuisance arises from 'interference with one's land' Malone v Laskey: land occupied by a manager and his wife was injured - she had no

o

interest in the land and so no right to sue Hunter v Canary Warf o

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Position reaffirmed in

Scrutiny of the rule after the HRA 1998 - (McKenna v British Aluminium) - issue was whether there was an infringement of A6 and A8 o

Dobson v Thames Water Utilities Ltd - confirmed position in Hunter v Canary Warf - C must have interest in the land to have a right to sue

Who can be sued?
The creator of the nuisance

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Even if not in a position to end the nuisance and even if not the occupier of the land (Thomas v NUM)

The occupier of the land from where the nuisance is taking place

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Can be liable for nuisances created by himself as well as those created by others - responsibility derived from the fact that he has control over the land and the occurrences upon it

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Leakey v National Trust - NT liable for a large mound of earth which it had accumulated on its land, which collapsed onto the C's neighbouring land - they had been aware of it and did nothing 1

Revision: Tort

[PRIVATE NUISANCE]

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Liable for nuisances caused by third parties in exceptional circumstances:Independent contractors o

If occupier has instructed them to perform tasks which cause reasonably foreseeable nuisance: Matania v National Provincial Bank: foreseeable excessive noise and dust caused by contractors altering his property - unusual as building doesn't usually cause basis of a nuisance claim - people are expected to put up with the 'live and let live' in their daily living (Bamford v Turnley)Predecessors in title oLiable of the successor continued or adopted predecessor's nuisance

Trespassers o

Liable if the occupier adopts the nuisance caused by trespasserSedleigh-Denfield v O'Callaghan -D used poorly maintained pipe that had been unlawfully put under his land, so liable when it leaked

oBut an occupier may escape liability if he takes reasonable steps to abate the nuisance

Naturally occurring nuisances or natural condition of the land o

Law traditionally absolved the occupier from liabilityBut Goldman v Hargrave - PC - occupier liable for naturally occurring nuisance where he knew or ought reasonably to have known of a danger and failed to take reasonable steps to abate it

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However - a duty to abate is limited: will not be expected to bankrupt himself in the process of abating nuisance naturally occurring nuisance Holbeck Hall Hotel v Scarborough BC

The landlord

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Not usually be liable for a private nuisance unless he has created it, or authorised it, or knew or ought to have known at the time of letting the property, or if he has expressly or impliedly reserved the right to enter or repair (Lippiatt v South Gloucestershire Council vs. Hussain v Lancaster City Council)

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Tetley v Chitty - Landlord was held liable for leasing premises to a 'go-cart' club 2

Revision: Tort

[PRIVATE NUISANCE]
Elements of private nuisance

1. Indirect interference

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Sounds, smells, fumes, vibrations etc.

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Sedleigh-Denfield v O'Callaghan - flood of water held to be capable of constituting a private nuisance

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Nuisance starts on the D's land and then causes damage to some aspect of C's use/enjoyment of land

2. Damage

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Not actionable per se - must establish that they have endured damage

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Only reasonably foreseeable recoverable (Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather)

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Not possible to claim for personal injury in private nuisance (Hunter v Canary Warf)

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HL in St Helens Smelting CO v Tipping - distinguished btw 2 types of damage - (a) physical damage to property and (b) sensible personal discomfort (SPD): o

'the personal inconvenience and interference with one's enjoyment, one's quiet, one's personal freedom, anything that discomposes or injuriously affects the senses or the nerves'

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Personal damage (Lemmon v Webb - overhanging tree branches causes physical damage)

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Or SPD - where the senses of the C are affected- 'amenity damage' (Horsey and Rackley)

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However - not all interference with the enjoyment value can be claimed- e.g. Hunter v Canary Warf - refused to recognise claim for interference with TV signal - nothing had been emitted from D's land

3. Unlawful interference 3

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