BBC news recently reported about a dispute erupting between a cricket club and its neighbours after residents said players were too noisy. In response to a planning application for a new practice area, residents living close to Darlington Cricket Club complained to the Council about “the noise of the bat striking the ball” and “the effort of batting and bowling” and even about men “dropping their trousers to remove thigh pads and boxes in their underwear”.
Are you bothered by noisy or indecent neighbours? The law protects your right to comfortable enjoyment of your property, free from serious disturbance or substantial inconvenience. Some might argue that you should be able to use your property as you please but this has to be balanced with the duty not to annoy your neighbours.
The critical question is whether what you are being exposed to is more than a reasonable proprietor could be expected to tolerate. It’s also worth considering what steps you can take to minimise your own annoyance. For example, can’t the Cricket Club’s neighbours close their windows when there is a game at play?
Each case will turn on its own particular circumstances but nuisances are not confined to ravers, grunters or trouser dropping sportsmen. A lot of the cases we see involve flooding due to blocked drains or burst sewers. These kinds of cases normally involve some degree of negligence. The primary remedy in Scotland is interdict but where there is some fault or negligence on behalf of the defender, an award of damages can be sought.
It is worth bearing in mind, however, that if you have been putting up with some kind of nuisance for twenty years or more without complaint then you might find the law won’t afford you a remedy when you do decide to protest. Darlington’s Cricket Club have been playing on the same pitches since 1896. That’s more than one hundred years’ worth of underwear flashing the residents have
Here at Jackson Boyd we have a wealth of experience in dealing with disputes. For further information please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.