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Law of Nuisance

What is the law of nuisance?

Under many common laws, homeowners or lease holders have the right to enjoy their land in quiet peace. If any neighbor interferes in the owner’s quiet enjoyment of his/her property, either by creating smells, sounds, pollution, or any other hazard that extends beyond the boundaries of the property, the land owner may be able to make a claim regarding the nuisance. There are three different ways that the term nuisance is used; (1) it is described as an activity or condition that is or can be harmful or annoying to other people such as indecent conduct, a rubbish heap, or a smoking chimney; (2) it can be described as the harm that is caused by the previously mentioned actions or conditions such as loud noises or objectionable odors; (3) as a legal liability that may arise from the combination of the two previous mentioned examples, but does not include the stealing of land or trespassing on the land that affect the enjoyment of the owner’s land.

If a person lives in Delaware, in a wooded area and has a neighbor that blows leaves and debris onto the owner’s property, can the neighbor get away with doing this by saying that the leaves come from the owner’s trees?

The neighbor cannot use the excuse that the leaves are from the owner’s trees due to the fact that the people involved cannot tell which of the trees shed the leaves. There are two avenues that the owner can take. The first one would be if the neighbor is placing the leaves back on the property, then the owner can file trespassing against the neighbor, but the owner would need to have no trespassing signs up, and the second is the nuisance charge, which the property owner could do if the neighbor is piling the leaves on the neighbor’s property which hinders the owner’s enjoyment of his/her property.

Would it be considered nuisance if a person lives in an apartment that is no smoking, but has neighbors that smoke on their balcony and the smoke comes into the non-smoker’s apartment causing the person not to be able to enjoy his/her apartment?

The non-smoker can insight the nuisance law and try to find another place to live if the apartment manager is not willing to work with the person. If the smoke is bothering the non-smoker, then he/she would need to get a letter from a doctor stating that he/she is allergic to the second hand smoke, which will help him/her with getting the situation taken care of. The law of nuisance states that if an adjoining property owner is creating a noxious atmosphere on their property that comes over to the property of their neighbors, then the persons affected by this noxious substance / odor can sue the property owner for damages. Since the non-smoker went through all the steps to properly handle the nuisance issue, then he/she may be able to sue the apartment owner for any costs to move.

How can a person break a lease that has 6 months left on it if the construction next door to the person’s apartment prevents them from getting the needed sleep to work overnights?

In most cases a landowner’s rights end at the property line therefore the tenant has certain rights but cannot have more rights than the landowner has. The landlord and tenant may be able to sight the nuisance law if the construction is unreasonably hindering the quiet use of the land. Construction noises that are between the hours of 9pm and 6am might support a nuisance law, but if the construction is during the day, then the tenant really has no rights. So the tenant generally has no rights to break his/her lease due to the construction.

What is a HOA’s responsibility regarding drainage from sump pumps.

In most cases the HOA would be responsible for the drainage if the drainage is on common grounds, but if the drainage is on the owner’s land then it would be the landowner’s responsibility. The law of nuisance would be what takes over in this situation and it would be up to the owner of the land to take care of the nuisance.

When a property owner is hindered by the neighbors from enjoying his/her property, then they can use the nuisance laws to get the offending party to stop the actions that are considered a nuisance. If the people involved are unsure as to their rights, then consulting an Expert would be the first step that he/she would need to make.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5379
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
characters left:
7 Real Estate Lawyers are Online Now

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Real Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4813
16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Law Pro
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6227
20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Barrister
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4966
13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years

Recent Nuisance Questions

  • My son's friend was renting a duplex, and last night was robbed

    My son's friend was renting a duplex, and last night was robbed at gunpoint. They took everything, including the keys to the place and promised to come back in a couple of days. The robbers threatened his and his roommate's life. Needless to say, he is traumatized and doesn't want to return to the duplex-ever. Can he break the lease without penalty? The police are looking for the suspects.
  • I have had a renter for 3 Years. He would like. 6mos to

    I have had a renter for
    3
    Years. He would like. 6mos to ffind a new residencee a fter my death. Would he have any claim to the property.
  • Are you able to see my prior question regarding an apartment

    Are you able to see my prior question regarding an apartment complex's responsibility for having safe lighting around the grounds and especially in the carports? Because since I got the answer that they have no responsibility, one of the carports fell on my car, causing over $8000.00 in damage. And I fell, just a few minutes ago, because it was too dark for me to see the gaping hole left by one of the wooden polls that once made up that carport. (of course, there is more to that story but I'm leaving out the proximal cause because I feel strongly that the apartment has secondary responsibility, both for the lack of maintenance on the carport and the lack of lights for the last 6 months.
    I'm bloody but no broken bones.
    I have a real problem with the idea that the apartment complex has no responsibility in any of that, which is what I was told last time by one of your experts. I live in King County, WA and we have strong renter laws, but I'm not sure how they apply to a large complex. I think it might be well time to figure that one out as I am well and ready to sue.
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