WHAT IS TRESPASS TO LAND?

Trespass to Land is an unlawful interference with land or building in possession of another.

6/17/2022 2 min read

OUR STORY

Quality, not quantity

We have made quality our habit. It’s not something that we just strive for – we live by this principle every day.

WHAT IS TRESPASS TO LAND?

Trespass to Land is an unlawful interference with land or building in possession of another. It is an intentional and wrongful interference with person's right to possession. It is actionable per se, that is it does not require proof of harm to be actionable.

ACTIVITIES THAT CONSTITUTE TRESPASS TO LAND

1. Wrongful Entry

2. Remaining on Land after expiration of Right of Entry

3. Directly placing object on Land.

Only the party who can demonstrate a better title to possession is justified in a trespass to land suit. The implication of this is that proof of ownership alone is not sufficient, as an Owner could be sued for trespass for instance where there is a lease agreement between a tenant and Landlord if the Landlord wrongfully interferes with the property while still in possession of the tenant. In the same vein, if a lease agreement expires, and the tenant continues to remain in possession especially after a notice to vacate the premises, he or she would be liable for trespass.

In the third instance, trespass must be direct or immediate. This is implies that the act must direct, thus an indirect action would constitute nuisance or negligence. As an illustration, where a person carelessly let's his activities into another's possession, like escape of excreta, this is not actionable as a Tort of trespass but nuisance or negligence.

Trespass extends beyond property of the land itself, including everything beneath and above it (space). However, an occupier's rights in the airspace above his land are limited to the height required for the ordinary use and enjoyment of the land and buildings on it.

WHO CAN BRING AN ACTION IN TRESPASS TO LAND

It's worth repeating that in a trespass to land case, only the party who can show a greater right to possession is justified. As a result, even though a person is in wrongful possession, he or she may be successful if he or she can establish that he or she has actual possession. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving possession. When both the Plaintiff and the defendant claim to be in possession of the same piece of property, the Court will rule in favor of the party that can prove title to the property.

The fact that the defendant has a right to possession of the land, or acted under the authority of someone who does, is a defense to a trespass suit, this is known as jus tertii. However, unless the defendant enters by the authority or as the agent of such third party, jus tertii will not help a defendant against a plaintiff who is in actual possession.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080