Is your neighbor a nuisance?
Are you a nuisance?
In Arizona, you can sue your neighbor if he or she causes a nuisance and, if the judge or jury agrees with your position, the Court can order the neighbor to stop whatever actions constitute the nuisance and/or award damages.
Unfortunately, despite decades of debate and numerous court decisions addressing what does, and does not, constitute a nuisance, it's still not entirely clear what exactly a nuisance is. What is evident is that the question of whether something is a nuisance or not turns on the unique facts and circumstances of each case. Based on those facts and circumstances, the judge or jury will decide whether the complained-of activity unreasonably disturbs the free use, possession, or enjoyment of the property.
Over the years Arizona lawyers have successfully argued that excessively bright lights, loud noises, and bad smells constitute a nuisance. Other examples might include intrusive air pollution or otherwise normal sounds at unusual hours.
One complaint Arizona real estate lawyers frequently hear has to do with intrusive vegetation. Perhaps surprisingly, most Courts have held that encroaching branches and dropping leaves do not constitute a nuisance unless the intrusion is causing substantial damage. Instead, the Courts suggest that the remedy is to simply deal with the intrusion yourself by trimming the branches or other vegetation that find themselves across your property line. This is permitted even if the offending neighbor does not approve or if the corrective action kills the plants.
If you have a neighbor who is being a nuisance you should consult with an experienced Arizona real estate lawyer to see if legal action is needed or to confirm that your intended course of action does not expose you to liability yourself. Although a resolution frequently can be worked out after a well-reasoned demand letter from an Arizona real estate attorney, sometimes legal action will be needed.
The Arizona lawyers at Harper Law PLC have years of experience handling Arizona nuisance law matters. Don't hesitate to call us and schedule a consulation if we can help in any way.