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What (is) a Nuisance

Posted by Graeme Maitland — filed in Litigation

A neighbour’s drain keeps flooding your yard, an industrial park gives off a bad odour, a new condo blocks your garden from the sun.  All of these would be a nuisance in the ordinary, non-legal sense but, not all of them are necessarily legal nuisances.

What are the types of nuisance?

In law, the tort of nuisance is when one party interferes with another parties use and enjoyment of their land.  The classic case in the common law is an old English case where a brick-making kiln sent noxious fumes into the air in a neighbourhood. This made everyone else ill.  The Judge decided that, even though the making of bricks was important, it was still a nuisance and the brick-maker was liable.

The tort has grown and developed to include different ways people can be liable.  If a neighbour redirects water, that is a nuisance, but a building blocking your view is not.

A nuisance requires action.  A neighbour must do something, it cannot be a passive thing.  Building a feedlot next to your house is not passive; building a condo that happens to interfere with your television signal is.

What are the remedies?

There are three options for remedies: an injunction, damages, or both.  The power of an injunction is to stop something, permanently or temporarily, and they can be put in place at any time, including before something happens.  If the interference is small, a judge can order damages in lieu of an injunction.

If you are bothered by a nuisance, speak to one of the civil litigation lawyers at Aarbo Fuldauer LLP in Calgary.

Address: 3rd Floor, 1131 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 3P4

Phone: (403) 571-5120

Email: info@aflawyers.ca

The information in the blog is not legal advice. Do not treat or rely upon it as legal advice.  If you require legal assistance, please contact a lawyer
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