In premises liability law there is a term known as a “private nuisance.” It refers to a feature or consequence that “interferes with the right of specific person or entity.”
Private nuisances can affect someone’s right to use or enjoy their property. A private nuisance tort could arise from many causes, including:
- Polluted waterways
- Contaminated soil
- Foul odors
- Loud noises
- Excessive light
A resident might get into a dispute with a neighbor over loud, extended construction or renovations taking place in an adjacent apartment. Or a group of homeowners might sue a city nightclub for its throbbing bass beats that keep on pumping well into the early morning hours.
It’s generally better if the aggrieved party’s first response is not to threaten legal action. Many private nuisance problems can be resolved amicably with a civil discussion between the neighbors or other parties. If that doesn’t resolve the matter, you must then decide whether to settle it legally in court.
You don’t have to own your house or apartment to sue for private nuisance torts. You can be a renter as long as you rightfully possess the property.
The courts also consider whether the defendant’s actions reasonably and substantially caused interference in your possession and enjoyment of the property. The court then must balance the resulting harm from the defendant’s reckless, negligent or intentional actions against the act’s usefulness.
Living in New York City puts a lot of people in very close proximity to one another, and that can sometimes create private nuisance fiascos with the neighbors.
Don’t take the law into your own hands, however. Resolve your premises liability or private nuisance claims legally through the New York civil court system.