Tetley v Chitty and Others (1986): authorising nuisance.

Areas of applicable law: Tort law – Nuisance – Private nuisance.

Main arguments in this case: When a landowner can be held responsible for the acts of its tenant.

The fact of the case: A landowner can be said to have created or authorised a nuisance if the purpose for which the land is let, and the activities that are carried out on it, are so obviously linked that there is no way that the landlord may not have known about it.   

in the case of Tetley v Chitty and Others (1986), the local council allowed a tenant to redevelop the council’s land for go karting. The land was situated in a residential area and the noise created by go karting activities prompted the residents to bring an action for a nuisance against the council.

The council denied the responsibility for creating a nuisance and argued that they had only let the land and it was not them who had created or authorised a nuisance.  

The court disagreed and held that the council was liable. The court further said that it was the council who had let the land for go karting, and since noise was an unavoidable result from go karting, the council therefore had authorised the nuisance.

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