Legal Advice

School authorities are creating a private nuisance

Question: I have been living in a residential area for more than 17 years. There is a school behind our house, and it does not have any wall connecting to our house. Recently, they have constructed a horse shed without any wall, using iron pillars. Now, I am unable to sleep in my bedrooms due to the horses kicking on my wall and the noises they create. Additionally, I am unable to use my rooftop because of the foul smell generated by their excreta. The condition of my wall is deteriorating due to this shed. I had previously approached the SDM office, but the opposing party allegedly bribed the official. What legal remedy should I pursue against the school authorities?

Advise

The school authorities are creating a private nuisance; thus, you have the option to initiate a civil suit to stop the disturbance caused by the horses and seek compensation for the inconvenience and damage to your property. You should also seek temporary injunction. for stopping nuisance during the pendency of civil suit. Additionally, the nuisance extends to the improper management of horse excreta by the school authorities, resulting in unpleasant odours in the surrounding area. 

Private nuisance

Private nuisance in the law of torts refers to a legal concept where an individual’s use or enjoyment of their property is interfered with by the actions of another person. It involves an unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of land that results in harm or discomfort. Private nuisance is a civil wrong, and individuals who suffer harm due to such interference may seek legal remedies.

Examples of private nuisance include loud noises, offensive odours, pollution, and anything that substantially interferes with a person’s ability to enjoy their property. Legal remedies for private nuisance may include damages, an injunction to stop the interference, or both, depending on the circumstances.

Interference with Enjoyment

There must be substantial and unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of the claimant’s land. This interference can be through noise, odours, vibrations, pollution, or any other activity that disrupts the normal use of the land.

The interference must be unreasonable. In assessing reasonableness, factors such as the locality, nature of the neighbourhood, and the duration of the interference are considered. What may be reasonable in one context may not be in another.

The interference must be both substantial and unreasonable. A minor inconvenience or annoyance may not qualify as a private nuisance. The interference should be significant enough to warrant legal intervention.

Damages

Actual damage or harm to the claimant’s use or enjoyment of their land is typically required for a successful claim. This harm can be physical damage, discomfort, or any other loss that results from the interference.

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow