News By/Courtesy: Nikshetaa Jain | 22 May 2020 12:37pm IST


  • Meaning of Nusiance
  • Difference between nuisance and trespass
  • Elements of Nuisance

Meaning of Nuisance
Nuisance is a term that is not capable of exact definition. It has been derived from the Latin term nocumentum. Nuisance is treated as if the word is so amorphous and protean as to make an impossible description of the area which it covers.[1]
Nuisance is an unlawful interference with a person's use or enjoyment of land, or of some right over, or in connection with, it.[2] It includes injury to servitudes as well as to other rights connected with the property.[3] As commonly used, it connotes a condition or activity which unduly interferes with the use of land or a public.[4]
Anything that causes annoyance or hurt or injury, harm, or prejudice to an individual or the public or anything is wrongfully done or permitted which injures or annoys another in the legitimate enjoyment of his legal rights would constitute a nuisance.[5] Nuisance was considered as an inconvenience, materially interfering with the ordinary comfort physically of human existence, not merely according to elegant modes and habits of living, but according to plain and sober and simple notions among the English people.[6]
Nuisance is that activity that arises from unreasonable unwarranted or unlawful use by a person of his property, working obstruction or injury to right of another, or the public, and producing such material annoyance, inconvenience, and discomfort that law will presume resulting damage.[7]
Difference between nuisance and trespass
Firstly, trespass involves interference with the possession of the land, but nuisance involves interference with the use or enjoyment of the property. Secondly, trespass requires intervention with a tangible object, but nuisance can be committed through intangible objects also. Trespass is actionable per se, but nuisance requires proving of special damages. An isolated event cannot be a nuisance but can be trespass.[8] Trespass to land involves direct rather than consequential harm.
Elements of Nuisance
The first essential of nuisance is unreasonable interference. Interference becomes unreasonable when it becomes unlawful.[9] It is the interference, rather than the conduct of the defendant, which must be irrational.[10] The second essential of nuisance is interference with the use or enjoyment of land. Interference is caused by either injury to the property itself or injury to the comfort or health of occupants of a particular property. The third essential is damage. Damage actual, prospective or presumed, is one of the essentials of a nuisance. Its existence must be proved, except in those cases in which it is assumed by law to exist.
  [1] Warren A. Seavey, ‘Nuisance: Contributory Negligence and Other Mysteries’ [1952] 65 (6) Harvard Law Review<> accessed 2 August 2019.
[2] Edwin Peel and James Goudkamp, Winfield, and Jolowicz on Tort (18th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2010).
[3] P.H. Winfield, ‘Nuisance as a Tort’ The Cambridge Law Journal [1931] 4(2) The Cambridge Law Journal <> accessed 4 August 2019.
[4] P.H. Winfield (n3).
[5] Bhagwanram v. Thakurji Shri Hanumanji Maharaj [1989] 1 RCR 526.
[6] Walter v Selfe [1851] 64 ER 849.
[7] Black law’s dictionary.
[8] Stone v Bolton [1950] 1 KB 201. 
[9] Vivienne Harpwood, Modern Tort Law (7th edn, Routledge Cavendish 2009).
[10] Sampson v Hodson-Pressigner [1981] All ER 710.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 22 May 2020 20:04pm IST

Tags : #Nuisance

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