[Torts] Answer Guide to Private Nuisance
1. Private nuisance is any unreasonable (St Helen’s Smelting v Tipping) and indirect (Hunter v Canary Wharf) interference with use and enjoyment of one’s exclusive possession (Malone v Laskey) of land.
a. Unreasonable interference
b. Indirect interference
c. One’s use and enjoyment of land
d. Exclusive possession
2. A person must have a legally recognised interest in land, such as being an owner or tenant (Malone v Laskey).
3. In case of tenants creating private nuisance, a landlord will be liable only if the nuisance was
a. Expressly authorised by the landlord or
b. Certain to result from the purposes for which the property was let (Peden v Bortolazzo)
4. However, a person who creates nuisance not from his/her place may still be liable in private nuisance (Southport v Esso Petroleum).
5. To be actionable, it is mandatory that the conduct caused unreasonable and substantial interference with one’s use and enjoyment of the land (Munro v Southern Dairies). In Munro, it was held that even a loss of a sing night’s sleep caused by the noise of the dairy could amount to a substantial interference.
6. Furthermore, in determining whether interference is unreasonable, the courts will (will not) consider:
a. Triviality (Walter v Selfe)
b. Give and take (Kennaway v Thompson; Clary v Women’s College)
c. Hypersensitivity (Robinson v Kilvert)
d. Locality (St Helen’s Smelting v Tipping)
e. Time, duration and character of interference (Munro v Southern Dairies)
f. Moving to nuisance (Campbelltown Golf Club v Winton)
g. Motive (Christie v Davies)
7. If there are alternatives which are reasonably practicable and open to the defendant, this may render the means used unreasonable (Halsey v Esso Petroleum).
8. There are possible defences that a defendant may raise in order to counterclaim the plaintiff’s action in nuisance:
a. Statutory authority
b. Plaintiff’s abnormal sensitivity (Robinson v Kilbert)
9. Remedies may be given such as:
a. Abatement by self-help