Nuisance is derived from nuire which is a French word and means “to do hurt” or “to annoy”. Nuisance is an offence under the English common law and is seen as a part of tort law. Nuisance is a direct result of the law recognising the right of a person for unlimited enjoyment of his land within the ambit of law. Nuisance is anything done to annoyance or the hurt of lands, hereditaments or tenements of another which does not amount to trespass. It is the unwarranted, unreasonable or unlawful use of ones property in a manner which substantially interferes with the use of or enjoyment of another individual’s property without actually physically interfering or entering it. Blackstone described nocum entum(nuisance) as “worketh hurt, inconvenience or damage”
Nuisance based on the people such an act or interference effects is divided into two. When a nuisance is caused to a large number of people seen to be a nuisance to the public at large, it is seen as public nuisance and when the effects of an act of nuisance is limited to an individual or a group, it is called private nuisance.
Public nuisance is an act, omission or interference which causes any injury, annoyance or danger to the public at large or people in general who live or own property in the vicinity or suffer direct injury as a result of the act. A public nuisance covers a wide range or minor crimes or offences that threaten safety, comfort, health, morals or welfare of a community. Public nuisance which is an offence against an economical regime of state or public order, affect all equally and therefore for such an offence, there can be only one indictment, this is in order to prevent a person from receiving millions of suits for one act.
Private nuisance is a civil wrong and it is directly using or explicitly authorising the use of one’s property so as to adversely affect an owner of property by physically injuring his property or by materially interfering with his comfort, health or convenience.