Difference Between Nuisance and Trespass

Nuisance vs Trespass

You plant a tree in your property, but it grows and spreads to reach the property of your neighbor to cause him problems, is it nuisance or trespass? What, if someone enters your property without your permission to cause disturbance to you when you are enjoying there. There are many scenarios where people become confused between these two torts because of their similarities. However, despite similarities and some overlap, there are enough differences between nuisance and trespass that will be highlighted in this article.


In general, any person, thing, or circumstance causing inconvenience to another person is labeled as nuisance. However, it becomes unlawful when it prevents someone from enjoying and using his own property. This means that a landowner can sue another person for causing nuisance if he is not able to enjoy his property because of him. Thus, nuisance is indirect in nature. A neighbor playing music loudly in his own house can be a source of nuisance for you. You become annoyed as you cannot peacefully do what you are doing.

Sound is just an example and nuisance can also be created by smell, pollution, smoke, electricity, vibrations etc. The thing to remember is that to be classified as a nuisance, the person, thing, or condition must cause interference with the plaintiff’s use of his property in a peaceful manner.


Trespass is a tort that requires someone to interfere with the property of the plaintiff in a direct manner. If a neighbor plants trees on your property, it is a trespass. Even if, he throws some stones that fall in your property, the action classifies as trespass. Trespass includes not just the surface area but also the aerial space above the property of the plaintiff. The thing to remember in case of trespass is that it comes into action only when there is a physical invasion by a thing or a person. If someone unlawfully enters and stays in your property, he is said to be trespassing.

What is the difference between Nuisance and Trespass?

• Trespass requires entry into the property of the plaintiff whereas nuisance is indirect and can take place from outside the property of the plaintiff.

• Landowners have a right to enjoy their property, and it is when this right is interfered with that the tort laws of nuisance and trespass come into action.

• Trespass is direct and requires physical invasion while nuisance can be created in an indirect manner.

• There is interference with possession in trespass while it is not required in nuisance.