With increasing development, damage to neighboring properties is becoming more and more common. Georgia’s laws governing nuisance provide landowners whose property has been damaged by the activities of a developer, neighboring landowner, or even a municipality, with the potential for being compensated for that damage.
But what, exactly, constitutes a “nuisance”?
What is a Nuisance?
The answer is not so easy to pin down.
This is because Georgia law broadly defines a nuisance as “”anything that causes hurt, inconvenience, or damage to another…”. While that covers a lot of ground, it is not infinite.
Case law defines and delineates what constitutes a nuisance under Georgia law. For example, to be a nuisance, a person’s action or activity must be something that would offend or annoy a “reasonable person,” and must be of considerable duration. The maintenance of the defect or act must be continuous or regularly repetitious.
There are more elements that go into what makes a particular act or activity on property actionable under the law of nuisance, of course. However, suffice it to say that if an activity rises to the level of a nuisance, the law also allows an injured property owner to recover for his damages caused by the nuisance.
Damages Recoverable for Nuisance.
Because the law believes that a person’s full use and enjoyment of his property is so important, it allows for the recovery for damages to property (and in some instances, to the person) caused by another’s creation of a public or private nuisance.
In Georgia, the law allows for the recovery of several different types of damage caused by a nuisance. These include:
- repair damages
- diminution of market value
- personal damages, and/or nominal damages.
When it comes to damages in a civil lawsuit, it is the plaintiff who alleges the damages he is seeking. In nuisance cases, the type of damage a plaintiff will seek depends on the nuisance that has been created. If the nuisance can be abated, then the plaintiff can seek to repair the property and recover for past loss of use and enjoyment. If the nuisance is one that cannot be abated, then the plaintiff’s damages will generally be for permanent damage to the property’s value, and damages for past and future loss of use and enjoyment.
Protecting Your Real Property Rights. Our Experience is Your Advantage.
At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., our clients benefit from our experience and expertise in all aspects of real estate. Since 2001, we have dedicated ourselves to only one thing: protecting your property rights. We have offices in Cumming, and we serve clients in Atlanta, Gainesville, Gwinnett County, Bartow County, Hall County, Henry County, Cherokee County, Clayton County, Cobb County, and other counties throughout Georgia. Call us at: 770-888-7707. Or you can e-mail us with inquiries at: firstname.lastname@example.org