Posted by Hollie Lilley, Solicitor
Property problems – an injunction may resolve your dispute
There are many circumstances where you might look into getting an injunction in a property dispute. For example: a developer building very close to your property may affect your right to light; a neighbour interfering with your right of access or causing noise nuisance, or people trespassing onto your property.
What is an injunction?
An injunction is a type of a court order which requires somebody to do or refrain from doing a specific act.
In situations such as those described above you will want the interference to stop and where negotiations have failed an injunction requiring the person at fault to stop the interference would be the appropriate remedy.
How easy is it to obtain an injunction?
Your chances of getting an injunction will always depend on the circumstances.
Until recently where a claim was brought for a breach of property rights, such as loss of light caused by a neighbouring development, the likely remedy has been an injunction. It was only in exceptional circumstances that an award of damages was made instead.
However, as a result of the recent case of Coventry v Lawrence, the position is no longer clear cut and it may be that you are more likely to be awarded compensation/a sum of damages.
Where damages are awarded instead of an injunction there are a number of ways in which the amount due can be valued and this is very much at the discretion of the Court. For example, the Court might award compensatory damages based on the reduction in the value of your property. Alternatively, you may be compensated for effectively being unable to enforce your rights.
When might I receive damages instead of an injunction?
Each case will have to be carefully considered in order to establish whether you have an actionable right and then secondly what the likely remedy will be. Unfortunately for now the position is far from clear and decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
What should I do?
If you think you have grounds for a claim then it is imperative that you take prompt action and obtain legal advice at an early stage. Significant delay is likely to be a factor that a judge considers when deciding whether or not an injunction is the appropriate remedy.
For further information on property rights and injunctions or any other commercial or residential property disputes, please contact our dedicated Property Disputes team on 0800 923 2070 or email email@example.com.