What is a private nuisance?

Have you ever had a neighbor who played loud music at all hours of the night, or who left their barking dog outside to disturb the peace? Or perhaps you've been on the receiving end of an offensive odor from a nearby factory, or suffered through excessive vibrations caused by nearby construction. If so, you may have experienced what is known as a private nuisance.

In legal terms, a private nuisance is an unreasonable interference with an individual's use and enjoyment of their property. This can encompass a wide range of activities, from noise and odors to pollution and even physical damage to a property.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what constitutes a private nuisance, how it differs from a public nuisance, and what remedies are available to those who have been affected by one. Whether you're a property owner dealing with a nuisance or simply interested in learning more about this legal concept, read on to find out more.

What is a private nuisance?

A private nuisance is when an individual unreasonably restricts the enjoyment of a property owner. This is pretty common among neighbors and involves anything that causes inconveniences, discomfort, or annoyance to a property owner. 

It can manifest in diverse ways, such as noise, vibrations, foul odor, threat or injury, loud sounds, and unsightly aesthetics.

A typical example is when a neighbor plays loud music every night causing another individual to lose sleep. It causes the affected individual to underperform during work the next day. The affected property owner can file a nuisance case against the neighbor for the noise; even sue for damages.

Elements of a private nuisance case

For a successful lawsuit, there are three boxes you need to tick:

  • You own the property
  • The defender interfered with your enjoyment of your property
  • The act was unreasonable

The first element is easy to prove as you can be either the property owner or a tenant, while the second element has to prove that you suffered damages. It could be monetary or personal comfort. The third element, on the other hand, has to prove that the act was an unreasonable and not a petty daily occurrence. 

Know your options

In the case of a private nuisance, you’re open to lots of open that will help resolve the case. Consider the following options before you decide to file a lawsuit.’

Know the law

You should consider consulting with your state or city laws on what constitutes a private nuisance or perhaps, get in touch with a personal injury attorney.

Contact your neighbor

After writing a demand letter to your neighbor to stop constituting a nuisance, their response will determine the next cause of action. Even if your demand letter yielded no result, it proves to the court that you tried to resolve the situation without any success.

Determine your damage

You also need to quantify your damage, and how much you’re going to sue based on the interference you’re facing.


To have a better outcome, it is important to have substantial evidence of your claims. It could be video evidence of the interference that’s causing you damages.

Hire an attorney


With a qualified personal injury attorney, you will build a case that protects your interest at the end of the day. We’ve been doing this for decades, and we’d be more than happy to help you get compensated for any damages you may have suffered. Feel free to get in touch by calling or filling out our contact form.

Call Sgarlato & Sgarlato PLLC. today to schedule your free consultation.

Sgarlato & Sgarlato PLLC Personal Injury Lawyers helps injured residents of the Staten Island area recover full compensation for the damages and losses they suffer due to the negligence of others.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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