Liability of non-resident property owner in nuisance

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Cocking v Eacock and Waring [2016] EWCA Civ 140.

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Cocking v Eacock and Waring [2016] EWCA Civ 140

E occupied a property belonging to her mother, W, under a licence. During her occupation she created two types of nuisance: (i) excessive barking by her dog five-ten times per month; and (ii) intentional abusive shouting over a period of two years. At first instance, HHJ Pearce-Higgins QC held that W was liable for the former nuisance, which she did nothing to abate despite being ‘in complete control of the property’.

The Court of Appeal dismissed W’s appeal.

Had E been W’s tenant, W would not have been liable. But E was W’s licensee. The position of a licensor could not be equated with that of a landlord. Rather the position of a licensor should be equated with that of an occupier, being the person with control over the property. As such, W was liable having failed to abate the nuisance caused by E.

Click here for the judgment.

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