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A person in possession of a property is entitled to undisturbed enjoyment of it. If someone else’s improper use of their property results in unlawful interference with his use or enjoyment of that property, or of some right over or in connection with it, the owner may have a claim in the tort of nuisance. This interference may have arisen in a number of ways, including noise, vibrations, smoke, gas, disease-producing germs, and many more.

According to Salmond,

the wrong of nuisance consists in causing or allowing without lawful justification the escape of any deleterious thing from his land or from elsewhere into land in possession of the plaintiff, e.g. water, smoke, fumes, gas, noise, heat, vibration, electricity, disease, germs, animals.

Nuisance is a continuing wrong, though it can be temporary. Nuisance as a tort requires the claimant to show a special damage for their claim against the other party.

There are three types of nuisance in tort law: (1) public nuisance, (2) private nuisance, and (3) the tort of Rylands v Fletcher. These are considered in the sections below.

These summaries have been written by Anuj Kumar.

Public nuisance

Public nuisance concerns acts affecting the public at large, or some considerable portion of it. It must interfere with rights which members of the community might otherwise enjoy.

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Private nuisance

Private nuisance concerns acts that interfere with an individual’s private rights.

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The tort of Rylands v Fletcher

Coming soon!

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