What is a nuisance action?
A nuisance action is a breach of contract; the contract being the lease. Specifically it is an act committed by a leaseholder or a visitor to a leaseholder’s property, the consequences of which are:
1) it contravenes a specific prohibition within their lease, e.g.:
- causing a noise nuisance by installing an unsuitable floor surface in their property
- abandoning or parking vehicles in parking spaces allocated other leaseholders
- keeping certain or any types of pets
- failing to keep up their property (the landlord is usually responsible for common areas and the up keep of the fabric of the block)
- erecting a satellite dish
2) it has consequences that extend to their neighbours.
What can you do about nuisance actions?
- Communicate – before legal action is considered the landlord or their agent should attempt to negotiate an end to the nuisance action. Mediation might also be worth considering
- Legal Action
Taking legal action against the party at fault could result in:
a) That party being required to right the breach and pay damages and legal costs
b) The landlord deciding that the most effective step would be exercise his right to forfeiture and possession by serving a valid section 146 notice under the Law of Property Act 1925 [click here to read more about forfeiture of a lease]
The law involved in dealing with nuisance actions is complex, covering as it does the covenants and nuisance clauses contained in leases. A landlord’s chance of successfully dealing with a nuisance action increases enormously when appointing a solicitor specialising in these sort of property disputes.
Nuisance actions – the role of a solicitor
Your solicitor will:
- Check the lease to ensure that nuisance action corresponds to nuisance
clause/covenant within the lease and that an actionable breach has occurred
- Get agreement from the party at fault that a breach has occurred or have the Land Valuation Tribunal (LVT) determine that it has
- Provide the party at fault with 14 days, from obtaining such agreement or from the date of the LVT’s determination, to resolve the breach
- If the breach is not resolved, apply to the County Court for a determination that the Section 146 notice can be served
- Serve that said notice.
It is rare for the forfeiture and possession to run its course – more commonly the party at fault will resolve the breach by ceasing the nuisance action/taking remedial action at their initial notification of possible legal action from the landlord’s solicitor.
Looking for specialist advice on a nuisance action? Contact us today
If you have a problem with a actual potential nuisance action, our specialist property dispute team can help – regardless of whether you’re a tenant, landlord or freeholder.
• Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial advice OR
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Comments or questions are welcome.