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Flashcards in Nuisance Deck (32)
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Benjamin v Storr

The damage must be “of a substantial character not fleeting or evanescent” and thus the temporal nature of an injury will suggest it is too trivial to be a nuisance


St Helen’s Smelting Co v Tipping (temporary injury)

The law does not regard trifling and small inconveniences, but only regards sensible inconveniences, injuries which sensibly diminish the comfort, enjoyment or value of the property which is affected.”


St Helen’s Smelting Co v Tipping (locality)

It is necessary to consider the nature of the locality and a nuisance must involve something over and above the everyday inconveniences inevitable in that locality.


Coventry v Lawrence (2 locality precedents)

i. The nature of the locality is to be determined taking into account any activity in the locality to the extent it does not constitute a nuisance to C
ii. Where planning permission, strategic or not, has been granted with regard to the activity complained of as a nuisance, the planning permission is NOT to be treated as altering the nature of the locality,


Kennaway v Thompson (contrast)

If D's activity is socially useful but it is doing serious damage to C such that C is bearing the burden alone of an activity from which many others benefit, an injunction will usually be granted rather than damages (contrast Dennis v MoD, where injunction would have caused extreme inconvenient)


Heath v Mayor of Brighton

No regard is to be had to special needs of invalids or special occupational needs.


Robinson v Kilvert

Someone carrying out a sensitive trade cannot complain if that trade is injured by D doing something lawful which could only injure an exceptionally delicate trade.


Hollywood Silver Fox Farm v Emmett (EVEN IF?)

If D’s act is motivated by pure spite, that may render it devoid of social utility and consequently unreasonable EVEN IF it would otherwise be justified on grounds of reciprocity between neighbors


What is the standard of care for nuisance?

Cambridge Water = there is none; the control mechanism is the principle of reasonable user and NOT reasonable care, so if D is found to have created the nuisance he cannot mitigate liability merely by showing he took reasonable care.


What if the type of nuisance created was not reasonably foreseeable by D when he did the acts complained of?

Cambridge Water - he will not be liable for that interference nor for further interference if he has taken all reasonable steps to abate it once he has been made aware of its possibility


When will occupiers be liable for a nuisance they did not create?

Sedleigh-Denfield - They will be liable during the period of their occupancy but liability ceases on disposal if they didn't create it.



If D knows of repeated acts by those in occupation of his land which constitute a nuisance, he will be liable for not taking steps to evict them.


Sedleigh-Denfield (extension)

If the nuisance was not created by D, he may nevertheless continue the nuisance if once he knows/ought to know of its existence he fails to take reasonable steps to abate it despite being in a position to do so effectively (extended by Leakey to acts of nature)


Goldman v Hargrave

Where D has had the risk thrust upon him the standard required of the occupier will be what is reasonable to expect of him in his individual circumstances, including his modest resources


Holbeck Hall Hotel Ltd

If D’s resources are limited in comparison to the magnitude of the hazard, it would not be fair, just and reasonable to expect D to remedy the hazard. D's duty might be limitd to warning and informing C of the hazard.


Leakey versus Holbeck Hall

Leakey only imposed a duty to avoid foreseeable damage to C’s land

Holbeck Hall - Ds who have not created a nuisance are not liable for damage the risk of which they could only have discovered at considerable expense to themselves


Marcic v Thames Water (Lord Hoffmann)

Water utility authorities are not liable for nuisance as this cuts across the statutory scheme conferring discretionary power on the industry regulator (Lord Hoffmann- the court would not be able to determine what "reasonable steps" could have been taken to abate the continuing nuisance, because this was not justiciable.


Hussain v Lancaster CC (distinguish)

If D does not authorise the nuisance and it is caused solely by his tenant's acts rather than the state of the premises he is not liable.

(McBride - the crucial difference between Hussain and Lippiatt is that in the former case the offenders were tenants and in the latter case they were travellers, so in Lippiatt the Council remained occupier of the land.


How is damage proved in private nuisance? (Hunter+)

The law will often presume damage UNLESS the discomfort is “purely personal” in which case evidence of substantial annoyance must be given.

Hunter v Canary Wharf - C need not show any loss of trade or diminution in the capital value of the property.


Coventry v Lawrence (injunction)

In deciding whether to grant an injunction the court may have regard to whether D’s activity is in the public interest (grant of planning permission is strong evidence that it is).


Coventry v Lawrence (coming to nuisance)

It may be a defence for D to contend that it is only because C changed the use of or built on her land that D’s pre-existing activity is alleged to have become a nuisance


Bliss v Hall

C may recover for a nuisance which had been going on before he came there so long as it constitutes unreasonable annoyance in the particular locality because C arrives at the area “with all the rights which the common law affords”


Sturges v Bridgman

a. If the private nuisance has continued for twenty years, measured from the time C discovers the nuisance D has a defence.


What if the activity complained of is an exercise of statutory power?

If it is intra vires the statute C will have to rely on statutory remedies.

Barr v Biffa Waste Services - work causing substantial interference with neighboring property will not normally be intra vires the statute save by necessary implication and if statutory compliance is relevant it is for D to prove compliance


Allen v Gulf Oil Refining Ltd

If the statute allows for discretion as to the place of work, the worker may be liable if he could have carried out the work somewhere else without creating a nuisance to others, but NOT if the statute mandates that the work be done in a particular place.


Who can sue for private nuisance?

Hunter - “He alone has a lawful claim who has suffered an invasion of some proprietary or other interest in land”


What is the essence of private nuisance? (2 cases)

Hunter - dimunition in the amenity value of the land; the tort is an INJURY AGAINST LAND, not persons

Read v Lyons - the unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land or some right over or in connection with it


Bamford v Turnley

Liability is usually “approached from the other end” since balancing the competing rights of neighbors requires a “rule of give and take, live and let live”


Name the 3 essential components of the tort of nuisance.

1. A person with sufficient proprietary interest in the land
2. A continuous/recurrent state of affairs
3. Unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of land


Halsey v Esso Petroleum

A plaintiff who has standing to sue, should be entitled to recover in nuisance for damage to chattels.