Difference Between Nuisance and Negligence

Nuisance vs Negligence

Under tort law, nuisance and negligence are civil wrongs that cause harm to others because of an act of commission or omission by an individual and make him liable to pay compensation to the victim. There are similar legal liabilities in case of both nuisance and negligence, but there are differences between these two civil wrongs depending upon the context and the intention of the tortfeasor or the person who commits the tort. This article attempts to find out these differences between nuisance and negligence.


If a person creates a condition that interferes with the rights of an individual to enjoy his property, then the person is supposed to have committed nuisance that is punishable under tort law. This can be an act or an omission on the part of the culprit such as sound pollution, gas pollution, or forcible occupation of a part of the property of the plaintiff. If you are the owner of a property and you feel annoyed by the actions of your neighbor as they interfere with uninterruptible enjoyment of your private property, you can obtain a writ of nuisance against your neighbor. This is also called private nuisance that is distinct from public nuisance. To invoke the law of tort under nuisance, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the act or omission by the defendant is intentional and is causing physical damage to his property or discomfort to him in one or the other manner.


Negligence is mostly an act done inadvertently or an omission that causes harm to another individual leading to a civil wrong. In the case of trespass that is caused by negligence, the interference to the enjoyment of one’s private property is because of the fact that the defendant did not exercise proper care. This means that the act or omission is not intentional but because of negligence on the part of the defendant. If the defendant has organized a party and playing loud music in the evening thinking that it is not the time to sleep, he is nevertheless causing annoyance to the plaintiff and liable for punishment under the tort law.

What is the difference between Nuisance and Negligence?

• If the act or omission on the part of the defendant is intentional, it classifies as a nuisance, but if it is not intentional and causes annoyance because of lack of proper care, it classifies as negligence under the tort law.

• If the right of enjoyment of the owner of the property is disturbed by an act of the defendant and that he can prove it is intentional, he can obtain a writ under nuisance against the defendant.

• Liability of the defendant in case of nuisance is much more than in case of negligence.

• There is fault based liability in case of negligence, whereas there is a strict liability for any material harm in case of nuisance.