Types of Land Disputes

by Access Legal

Types of Land Disputes

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There are all sorts of land disputes, and here we look at some of the most common ones, and how injunctions may be able to help you if you're affected by any of them.

Right to light

These rights can be obtained through either being stated in deeds or passage of time.

Before advice on such rights can be given, we would need sight of your deeds and/or witness evidence going back 20 to 40 years stating whether light has been passing unhindered into the property.

Rights to light are very difficult to prove at trial. We would require proof both that the strength of your evidence is strong, and that the merits of your claim are good, before we would be prepared to commence proceedings. This is likely to involve expert evidence.

Trespass

This is where a person has entered land without permission.

Trespass can be caused by a person, or his agents:

 

The relief the court may provide is a matter for the court, and is in part dependant on the level of any encroachment.

Private Nuisance

You can bring a case in nuisance where a proposed defendant interferes with your use or enjoyment of an area of land over which you have ownership or some other form of right, for example a personal right of way.

Nuisance can take a variety of differing forms. It can include, but is not limited to, causing:

 

Not all of these are actionable, however the court takes the view that parties must be prepared to tolerate a degree of inconvenience in life. It must be more than the mere 'everyday inconveniences' we all experience from time to time.

The court will take into account the neighbourhood, and whether the problem is occasional, temporary, or continuous. Also, whether there is an intention to cause annoyance is an important factor.

Proof of the sort of nuisance that has been suffered must be produced in a great deal of detail. We would ask you to detail the nuisance and provide evidence on the issues raised above so that the court can consider them all.

It is important to detail for the court's consideration:

 

In principle, anything (except an Act of Parliament) which stops someone from enjoying and exercising their rights over land can be considered to be a common law nuisance. If the nuisance affects a whole locality, it can be considered a public nuisance.

In the case of an individual nuisance, on an individual property, the remedy is for the person affected is to sue for damages and/or seek a court injunction to prevent a recurrence of the nuisance.

Statutory nuisances

There is no exact legal definition of what a statutory nuisance is, but most of the legal analysis talks about matters that are prejudicial to people's health or interfere with a person's enjoyment and legitimate use of land.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Public Health Act 1936 lay down certain types of nuisances for which there is a statutory remedy. These form part of the criminal law and can include:

If you complain to your local authority about a statutory nuisance the local authority must investigate and if necessary serve an abatement notice.

What we can do to help

For some of the above actions we can apply to the court for injunctive relief on your behalf.

It can form what's known as an interlocutory injunction; a device that allows the court to make an order prohibiting a person from doing something or requiring a person to do something. It will remain in force up until a final hearing.

However, it is important to remember that if at a final hearing it is found that you were wrong to apply for an injunction, then the court can order you pay the legal costs of the proposed defendant of obtaining the injunction, your own legal costs, and any losses the proposed defendant has sustained as a result of the injunction i.e. damages

If you wish to pursue this avenue we would want to assess whether there are reasonable prospects of obtaining and thereafter justifying an injunction and you will have to show the court that you have the means to pay any losses the other side sustains as a result of the injunction.

Otherwise, we may wish to consider if a payment in damages to you is an effective remedy.

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All documents should be read and used in accordance with the terms and conditions. This document is for your general information only and is not a detailed statement of the law. It is provided to you free of charge and should not be used as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you require specific legal advice please contact our helpline on 03700 868 686.

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