Landlord not liable for noise nuisance of speedway tenant

Landlord not liable for noise nuisance of speedway tenant

When will a landlord be liable for its tenant's nuisance. The Supreme Court decided a landlord was not liable as it had neither authorised nor participated in the nuisance.

Original news

Coventry and others v Lawrence and another (No 2) [2014] UKSC 46, [2014] All ER (D) 226 (Jul)

This judgment covered a number of points arising from the Supreme Court's earlier decision in Coventry v Lawrence [2014] UKSC 13, [2014] 2 All ER 622, in which it decided the occupiers of a stadium and a track were liable in nuisance to the owners and occupiers of a residential bungalow, Fenland, 850 yards away. The nuisance arose from the use of the stadium for speedway racing and other motorcar racing and the use of the track for motorcycle racing and similar activities.

The owners of Fenland brought their proceedings not only against the occupiers of the stadium and track, but also against the occupiers' current landlord and a predecessor landlord. The effect of the Supreme Court's decision was to reverse the Court of Appeal's decision and restore the trial judge's order, which was based on his finding that the occupiers of the stadium and track, but not the landlords, were liable in nuisance. The trial judge's decision had been upheld by the Court of Appeal on the ground that there was no nuisance and so no consideration was given to whether the judge's reasons for rejecting the claims against the landlords were justified.

However, now that the Supreme Court had held that the occupiers of the stadium and track were liable in nuisance, the question arose whether the judge was right in holding that their landlords were nonetheless not liable.

By the time of the trial, Fenland was unoccupied due to a fire and is still fire-damaged today.

What were the issues involved?

The order made by the trial judge included:

  • an injunction against the occupiers limiting the noise which could be emitted from the stadium and the track to take effect

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About the author:
Joanna is a commercial property specialist. Prior to joining the LexisPSL Property team, she was a transactional lawyer. She qualified in 1995 at Shoosmiths and subsequently worked at Nabarro, Charles Russell, Bircham Dyson Bell and Pemberton Greenish. She has wide-ranging experience of all non-contentious property transactions, with a particular emphasis on landlord and tenant work.