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Property Rights: My Neighbor is Annoying

As a country’s population rises, the desire to have land increases. Property rights in the United States are often based on laws inherited during colonial times from England.

These laws were designed to address a variety of property disputes and more. All property owners have certain rights under the law.

Private Property Rights

It’s possible for property to be owned by individuals as well as government, private and business entities. Having private property provided the owner the right to use it as they see fit. It also provides them with the right to exclude the use and benefits of it to others. Property rights are designed to protect an owner’s rights to the uninterrupted enjoyment of their property.

Collateral

There are a number of benefits associated with owning property. An owner can build on it, farm on it as well as rent it out and more. In some circumstances, property can also be used as collateral. It is possible for a land owner to use their property as collateral when trying to get a loan, bail bond and more.

Nuisance

There is the law of nuisance. Many property owners use this law as a way to sue their neighbors when necessary. It’s also utilized by public officials who want to sue property owners as a way to help the general public. The goal in many of these type of lawsuits is to influence how land is used or controlled. The neighbor bringing a lawsuit is often trying to establish the other property owner’s behavior is having a negative impact on the enjoyment of their property. They want the designated behavior to end and a court to make that happen.

Injunctive Relief

This is when a property owner is ordered by a court to stop a certain type of behavior. This will require a hearing to take place with both of the property owners present. Each one will have an opportunity to tell the judge their side of the story. Should a judge grant injunctive relief, the court is ordering or prohibiting a specific behavior or another type of act. If this order is not followed, the court may be able to take further action. Prior to injunctive relief being granted, a court will make an effort to balance any hardship the action may cause either property owner. Should an individual or entity purchase property with the knowledge of a loud nearby business operation, they may not be able to seek injunctive relief. This is covered in a legal doctrine known as moving to the nuisance.

Factors

When deciding a case, the court will attempt to protect the rights of each property owner. There are a number of different things that will be taken into consideration. The property involved and everything associated with it will be carefully examined by the court. This includes reviewing all applicable zoning regulations. It is possible for areas that have a mixture of commercial and residential properties to experience conflict. A court may find an area zoned for a restaurant may not permit the restaurant to operate all night. This may be because it would have a negative impact on the residential property owners.

Public Nuisance

In this situation, a public official is trying to prove that a property owner’s property has a negative impact on the comfort, health, safety as well as welfare of the general public. Should a property owner raise animals that emit foul odors, it could have a negative impact on local business as well as residents. There could also be a situation where a property owner has a dangerous business operating on their property. Other times these lawsuits have involved excessively loud noise for long periods of time that affect businesses and more. This type of lawsuit is done for the public’s benefit.

Private Nuisance

This is when one private property owner files a lawsuit against another property owner. The owner filing the lawsuit will need to prove they have lost the enjoyment of their property as a result of the behavior of the defendant. This could happen if one neighbor has pets that are proven to be dangerous and not properly restrained. It could also result from regular gatherings that result in loud music and more. There are times when plants grow from one property and have a negative impact on a neighbor’s property and more.

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