If there is a siren on a commercial building next-door and it was recently upgraded in the past 2 years to a new siren that’s twice as loud as the old siren, what are my rights?

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If there is a siren on a commercial building next-door and it was recently upgraded in the past 2 years to a new siren that’s twice as loud as the old siren, what are my rights?

If I proved it devalues my property can I sue? If I prove it devalues my property can I sue? The new siren registers 96 dB in my backyard rendering my backyard useless to entertainment.

Asked on January 15, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Assuming from your question that the commercial building is the fire department, you can sue the city of Bayville and the fire department for nuisance.
Nuisance is an unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of your property.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for nuisance) would be the permanent diminution in the value of your property.
Damages are an inadequate remedy due to multiplicity of lawsuits (each time the siren sounds) and because land is unique.
Since damages are inadequate, you can seek an injunction to stop use of the upgraded loud siren and  reduce the noise level of the siren; however, you will have an uphill legal battle whether you pursue damages or an injunction because the fire department and city will argue that public safety warrants having the loud siren.


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