The Other Home Invasion

The term “home invasion” most definitely includes criminals who force their way inside a home, threaten or hurt those living there, and steal or damage property. In fact, that’s the mental image most of us get when we hear the term “home invasion.”

But many more people suffer home invasion of a different sort. Other Home Invasion practices happen when your neighbors make it difficult or impossible to feel peaceful and safe in your own home; in other words, home invasion by your neighbor(s) destroys your “quiet enjoyment.” Sometimes these Other Home Invasions can nearly ruin your life.

Here at Home Invasion News we are equally focused on the Other Home Invasion. In fact, we believe that the Other Home Invasion is far more troubling for most of us than the improbable chance that criminals bearing weapons will burst the door and hurt us.

That’s why we have set up a special section of our website devoted to the Other Home Invasion. We hope to encourage the reporting of solutions and strategies that innovative communities and neighbors are finding to bring all of more peace, serentity, and quiet enjoyment.

What Do We Mean When We Talk About the Other Home Invasion?
Loud music, barking dogs, yards littered with trash and/or discarded objects, hoarding practices that attract filth, pest, and rodents, illegal activity like drug dealing or prostitution bring unsavory characters nearby at all hours — these and many more “nuisance” practices assault our “quiet enjoyment” of the place we live.

And make no mistake about it: We do have a right to “quiet enjoyment” and a right to protection from “nuisances.” A legal right.

What’s a Nuisance?
A nuisance is defined as an unreasonable, unwarranted and/or unlawful use of property, which causes inconvenience or damage to others, either to individuals and/or to the general public.

Nuisances can include noxious smells, noise, burning, misdirection of water on to other property, illegal gambling, unauthorized collections of rusting autos, indecent signs and pictures on businesses, and a host of bothersome activities.

Where illegal, nuisances can be abated (that is, changed, repaired, or improved) by criminal or quasi-criminal charges. If a nuisance interferes with another person’s quiet or peaceful or pleasant use of his/her property, it may be the basis for a lawsuit for damages and/or an injunction ordering the person or entity causing the nuisance to desist (stop) or limit the activity (such as closing down an activity in the evening).

Nuisance Can Be Public or Private
In the law, the two types of nuisance that trepass on our “quiet enjoyment are public nuisance and private nuisance. A private nuisance is a civil wrong; it is the unreasonable, unwarranted, or unlawful use of one’s property in a manner that substantially interferes with the enjoyment or use of another individual’s property, without an actual Trespass or physical invasion to the land. A public nuisance is a criminal wrong; it is an act or omission that obstructs, damages, or inconveniences the rights of the community.

Fighting Against Nuisance
The term public nuisance covers a wide variety of minor crimes that threaten the health, morals, safety, comfort, convenience, or welfare of a community. Violators may be punished by a criminal sentence, a fine, or both. A defendant may also be required to remove a nuisance or to pay the costs of removal. For example, a manufacturer who has polluted a stream might be fined and might also be ordered to pay the cost of cleanup. Public nuisances may interfere with public health, such as in the keeping of diseased animals or a malarial pond. Public safety nuisances include shooting fireworks in the streets, storing explosives, practicing medicine without a license, or harboring a vicious dog. Houses of prostitution, illegal liquor establishments, Gaming houses, and unlicensed prizefights are examples of nuisances that interfere with public morals. Obstructing a highway or creating a condition to make travel unsafe or highly disagreeable are examples of nuisances threatening the public convenience.

A private nuisance is an interference with a person’s enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.

Examples of private nuisances abound. Nuisances that interfere with the physical condition of the land include vibration or blasting that damages a house; destruction of crops; raising of a water table; or the pollution of soil, a stream, or an underground water supply. Examples of nuisances interfering with the comfort, convenience, or health of an occupant are foul odors, noxious gases, smoke, dust, loud noises, excessive light, or high temperatures. Moreover, a nuisance may also disturb an occupant’s mental tranquility, such as a neighbor who keeps a vicious dog, even though an injury is only threatened and has not actually occurred.

For a fuller description of quiet enjoyment and nuisance, please check out the following sources of information:

• the right to quiet enjoyment

• quiet enjoyment defined

• covenants that promise quiet enjoyment

• a personal account of home invasion by noise

• when one renter’s everyday living destroys another’s quiet enjoyment

• how to deal with noisy neighbors