Why does a business have the right to devalue my property?

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Why does a business have the right to devalue my property?

Live in a residential area a dunking donuts purchased a house and put in their
business, Their drive thru is 3 feet to my property and then in the back they
put in a huge retention pond that is green slime about 3 feet from my property
line. I asked them to at least put up a privacy fence. The refuse to do
anything to respect my property. I can’t sell my house and need to as my husband
and I want to go into retirement living because of our health.

Asked on October 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Generally, they have the right to use their property for anything legal in/on that property, and they don't have to justify it to, or consider the effect on, adjacent or nearby property, the same way a homeowner could put garish, offensive murals on his/her house, let the yard grow wild, and put weird scarecrows all over the property, all of which would affect the neighbors, and it'd be legal so long as it did not violate any zoning or other municipal ordinances. Ownershp (or leasing) of private property conveys the right to not care about your neighbors and do whatever you like that is not explicitly illegal on it.
That said, even in the absence of an explicit zoning, etc. violation, a court will sometime enjoin, or stop, behavior that is inappropriate for the neighborhood under the theory of "nuisance." To be a legal nuisance, behavior must be significantly inappropriate for the neighborhood. If your neighborhood is heavily residential, having business hours or noise too late at night, or having an unhygenic retention pond, may be inappropriate. A court will not stop them from running a legal business, but *might* make them modify some of the worst, most-inapprorpriate behavior. Be warned that nuisance suits can be expensive and complicated and also tend to be an uphill battle, since courts dislike interfereing with private business and a property owner's rights--but such a such offers at least the possibility of moderating their behavior. To explore this option, consult with a real estate attorney who also does litigation (i.e. not just closings and sales).


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