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48 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Private nuisance

unlawful interference with a person's use or enjoyment of land

Gillingham BC (locality)
A 24 hour commercial dock changed the nature of the locality therefore claims against operation were rejected. Planning permission does not simply automatically authorise any resulting nuisance: Wheeler

De Keyser's Royal Hotel v Spicer Bros (frequency/ duration)

Injunction against pile driving granted, but only between 22:00 and 06:30

Robinson v Kilvert (sensitivity)

Hot and dry air from defendant's business rose up and damaged stock piles of brown paper. Claim rejected due to the sensitivity of the claimant's business

Network Rail Infrastructure v Morris (sensitivity)

Claims against signal interference disrupting electrical equipment were not defeated by sensitivity. The court accepted the prevalence of electronics in modern day life

Christie (malice)

Neighbour disrupted claimant's music lessons intentionally by banging on walls of her house. Court accepted the claim on the basis that the action was malicious and not a reasonable use of the defendant's property. (Balance between use of property and autonomy)

Holywood Silver Fox Farm (malice/ sensitivity)

Deliberate gunfire disrupted claimant's breeding process for foxes. Claim accepted despite sensitivity due to the presence of malice

Khorasandjian v Bush

Plaintiff, whilst living with mother, claimed for nuisance against repeated calls from boyfriend. Decided on merits, USUALLY claimant must show proprietary interest in land

Hunter v Canary Wharf
Re-instated proprietary interest in land requirement. Claims that the structure interfered with the TV reception of a number of local residents were rejected as many were not the homeowners thus could not how a proprietary interest and interference with reception as such was not an obtainable right and therefore not actionable. Also, it was akin to loss of view which is not actionable. Also, the interference was temporary. Also, court held that there had been a period to raise objections during the planning process, and that period had passed

Sedleigh-Denfield (continuation)

Occupiers can be liable for adopting/ continuing a nuisance created by another. The defendant's cleaners repeatedly cleaned grate but did not move it to the proper place. Occupier was liable for subsequent flooding

Goldman v Hargrave (adoption)

Defendant failed to properly dispose of burning tree, this reignited and caused damage to claimant's property. Liability for adoption of nuisance

Holbeck Hall Hotel (measured duty of care)

Council not liable for failing to notice structural deficiency in cliff face below claimant's hotel because it would have taken a geographical expert to have noticed the issue and that the damage was


A landlord may not expressly or impliedly allow a nuisance

Tetley v Chitty

Council let land to go-kart club in the knowledge that they were going to use it for a go-kart track. This was express allowance of nuisance, therefore liability

Smith v Scott (exclusion clause)
Inclusion of an exclusion clause against the creation of nuisance exempted a landlord from liability for nuisance created by tenants. Landlords will be liable where that have expressly allowed a nuisance or the nuisance is a foreseeable consequence of the letting

Southwark LBC

Landlord not liable for failing to soundproof flats efficiently as the noises that constituted the nuisance were not unreasonable.

Take away: landlord must participate or authorise the nuisance via letting, simply not doing anything about a nuisance will to create liability


Confirms Goldman. Naturally falling rocks from the defendant's land damaged the plaintiff's house. The defendant was aware of the hazard yet did nothing about it, they were therefore liable for the damage caused

Allen v Gulf Oil Refining (statutory defence)

Claims against the operation of an oil refinery were defeated by the fact that its existence was prescribed by statute (operation was not expressly prescribed but courts deemed it be a matter of construction and that permission to operate was implied)

Sturges v Bridgman (20 years prescription)

Pestle and mortar caused vibrations on claimant's land. Vibrations were only noticed when they began to cause interference with claimant's consulting room. Injunction was granted as the defence will only stand where the claimant has been aware of the nuisance for 20 years. The measuring point begins from the initial noting of the nuisance

Public nuisance

Nuisance must be experienced by many but claimant must show proof of 'special damage'

Where there is no proprietary interest in land

Tarry v Ashton

Lamp projecting over highway fell and injured passerby. Defendant was liable, continuing and non-delegable duty to keep property in good repair

Noble v Harrison

Overhanging branch fell and damaged claimant's vehicle. No liability, the fracture would not have been recognised upon initial inspection. D could only be liable if he knew or ought to have known of the hazard.

Distinguished from Tarry v Ashton as the branch is natural but the lamp was artificial

R v Goldstein

Defendant sent salt to a friend as a joke and caused an anthrax scare at the Post Office. No liability as could not be shown that the defendant knew or ought to have known that it would have caused a public nuisance

Rylands v Fletcher

1) Defendant brings something on to his land that is likely to do mischief

2) That object must be one that is not naturally on the land

3) That object escapes

4) There must exist a foreseeability of damage of the relevant type

Hale v Jennings Bros

Chair flew off merry-go-round. Chair flying off from position constituted escape, defendant was liable for damage caused


Falling flag pole constituted escape (movement from original position)

Read v Lyons

Inspector injured by exploding shell at munitions factory. No liability, there was no escape. Defined as: movement from a place within the occupier's control to a place outside of that control zone

Dunne (for defendant's own purposes)
The object brought onto the land must be for the defendant's own purposes. D was not liable for gas leak as the gas was not there for D's own purposes but as a result of statutory authority

Ponting v Noakes (claimant default)

Horse caused own death by eating poisonous leaves Claimant contributed to the damage. No liability

Box v Jubb (unforeseeable act of stranger)

No liability for flooding after neighbouring reservoir caused overflow of defendant's which subsequently caused damage to the claimant's land

Perry v Kendricks Transport (unforeseeable damage)
Boys threw match at old coach owned by defendant. D was not liable for the explosion as the act was unforeseeable and performed by a stranger as was the damage

Cambridge Water Works (unforeseeable damage)

Defendant used a solvent that caused contamination of the claimant's water supply 1.3 miles away. This was deemed as unforeseeable damage

Nichols v Marsland (act of God)

Extraordinary rainfall caused flooding, no liability

Charing Cross Electric Supply Co

Water main burst causing damage to claimant's property. Statute allowed for high pressure water but didn't oblige it, therefore the defence failed. Also, the statute contained a nuisance clause, therefore even in the absence of negligence there was liability



Damages (exceptional circumstances, require proof)


Andrea v Selfridge

Injunction granted against building work next to claimant's hotel. Damages awarded for loss of custom

Delaware Mansions

Compensation granted to claimant who abated the nuisance himself

Miller v Jackson (damages in lieu)

Claimant sought injunction against local cricket club after she was injured by a stray ball 100ft away. Claim accepted but damages were awarded in place of an injunction as the court felt that the injunction would be too oppressive

Ribee v Norrie (act of a stranger) 2000

Claimant was awoken by dog after fire negligently started by defendant's occupant spread to her home damaging her property and causing her to suffer from smoke inhalation and panic attacks. Defendant landlord was liable for the act of the stranger as it was within his power to prohibit smoking (Home Office v Dorset Yacht)

LMS International 2005

Defendant liable under principle in Ryalnds v Fletcher after fire started on his property causing damage to the claimant's adjoining property. The defendant had accumulated (brought onto his land) things that were a known fire risk and they were stored in a position that made ignition of the things more likely.

Transco v Stockport
Damages for personal injury are non-recoverable under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher
Kennaway v Thompson (coming to the nuisance)
Claimant inherited property near boat racing track that had been in operation for some years. Defence of coming to the nuisance was rejected. Injunction granted on appeal, approved Shelfer
Bliss v Hall (right to use or enjoyment)
Smells and fumes from candle making activities of defendant were an actionable nuisance
Bliss v Hall (right to use or enjoyment)
Smells and fumes from candle making activities of defendant were an actionable nuisance. Confirmed in Bone v Seale (as per the smell constituting a nuisance, however loss of amenity over 12 years)
Nuisance requirements
1) continuos interference (more than one occasion)
2) unlawful interference (test of reasonable user)
3) interference with use or enjoyment of land or some right over that land
Harrison v Southwark Water (utility)
Useful for the community as a whole
St Helens (locality and damages)
Locality is no defence where there is damage to personal property. Smelting works had been there since before the claimant purchased the property and it was an industrial area
Bradford v Pickles (legal/ malice)
Even malice will not defeat claim where the use of the property was legal and reasonable