Landlord liability for tenant nuisance
Coventry v Lawrence first appeared before the Supreme Court in February 2014. The Supreme Court handed down a seminal judgment on issues of nuisance and public policy. The Supreme Court has now determined a separate issue arising from the same dispute, namely the liability of a landlord for a nuisance caused by the landlord’s tenant. In summary, a landlord will not be liable for a nuisance caused by its tenant except where the landlord authorises or directly participates in the tenant’s nuisance.
The background is straightforward. The landlord let its moto-cross track and speedway facility to a tenant. The activities of the tenant amounted to a nuisance for which the tenant was liable to the appellants. The landlord had previously used the facilities for motorsport. Further, the landlord: did nothing to persuade the tenant to stop or reduce the nuisance; erected a hay-bale wall on the boundary of the facility and the appellants’ property; liaised with the local authority in respect of noise issues; appealed against a noise abatement notice; and co-ordinated responses to noise complaints.
However, the landlord had no involvement in the motorsport activities, had no remaining property interest at the facility and did not receive any profits arising from the activities carried out at the facility…
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