Who Can Sue for Nuisance?


It may seem reasonable that anyone who is subject to a nuisance can sue for damages relating to it, but a 1997 case, in which people whose television reception was impaired by the Canary Wharf tower sought damages shows otherwise.

The significance of the legal principles involved in the case meant that it went all the way to the House of Lords, which ruled that interference with television reception by a building was not able to be the subject for a private action for nuisance.
The case also established the principle that, that where an action for private nuisance is being brought, it can only be brought by the person with a legal interest in the land affected (i.e. is the owner or leaseholder).
What this means is that (for example), a person living with someone else who owns the house in which they both reside, cannot bring an action for nuisance which relates to the house they both occupy.

Share this article