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What is a nuisance?

It is often said that good fences make for good neighbors, and the old phrase suggests that boundaries are important for maintaining the relationships of people who must live in close proximity to each other. Unfortunately, though, some Floridians experience unwanted and unexpected intrusions into the enjoyment of their property when their neighbors' actions are disruptive.

A nuisance may occur when a person acts in a way that may annoy or bother his neighbor. For example, if a homeowner places on their property a security light that shines each and every night into the bedroom of their neighbor and refuses to move the light after the request of the affected neighbor, the light-owning property owner may be causing a nuisance to occur.

A nuisance of this nature would be considered a private nuisance because it would only affect the one neighbor and their use and enjoyment of their property. If, instead, the nuisance causing neighbor carried out a business on their property that caused dangerous chemicals or gases to be released into the community, the nuisance may be considered public and a threat to the safety and well-being of those who live near them.

If a court finds that a party's actions are a nuisance either to their direct neighbor or the community at large it may issue an injunction. An injunction is a legal remedy that forces a party to stop doing that which causes the nuisance; in the two prior examples, either turning off the light or ceasing to carry out their dangerous business practices.

Outcomes in nuisance cases can be driven by the facts present in each individual situation. As such it is imperative that individuals concerned by possible nuisances in their communities discuss their issues with real property attorneys to learn more about their potential legal claims.

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Reid Burman Lebedeker
Esperante Building, Suite 1160
222 Lakeview Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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