There are two sorts of trespass. Trespass to land and trespass to the person. Here we are talking about trespass to land, which is unlawful entry on land which someone else owns by going onto it or putting something like a fence on it. There are two sorts of nuisance as well. Here we are looking at private nuisance, not public nuisance. This is unreasonable interference with someone else’s land, for example by noise, or smell or escaping water.
Process and potential remedies.
A claim begins with the “claimant” filing a Claim Form at court. This summarises what he/she wants in a couple of sentences and a solicitor usually does this. The claim is explained fully in “Particulars of Claim” which a specialist property barrister writes, with the information and documents you provide. The “defendant” then “acknowledges service” of the documents they are sent. They can admit the claim or, if they deny it, responded with a “Defence” which puts their case in detail. The case might reach trial in a year’s time. The usual remedies are an injunction to permanently forbid the trespass or nuisance and damages.
If there is urgency, for example because of a leaking pipe from the flat above or stench from rotting rubbish in summer, you can apply for an “interim” or temporary injunction to keep things as they were before until trial. You can apply for this, with a witness statement, when you file the Claim Form. There will then be a court hearing within days, or even within a day if there is danger to life or property.
To instruct one of our team of specialist property barristers, read our simple step-by-step guide, then get in touch with the clerks in our central Brighton office who will be able to advise you on your next steps.