Entry of Objects
Like the entry of persons, the entry of objects can be with or without permission. Permission would normally have to be expressly given by the occupier, and may normally be withdrawn at any time. After permission is withdrawn, the person who owns or controls the object must remove it as soon as reasonably possible. If not, a trespass may be committed .
The entry of an object without permission onto, under or over (aircraft usually have implied permission) a person’s land may be:
- intentional or a “trespass” (for example, a stone or ball thrown by someone, or sand or gravel from a pile on neighbouring land).
- continual, unintentional but causing damage (for example, water from pipes, smoke and ashes from a fire);
- caused by carelessness or “negligence” (for example, an old tree falling, insecure roof tiles).
A person has no implied permission to enter another’s land to retrieve an object which has crossed the boundary by accident. Express permission must be obtained. This could include calling out, telephoning, or entering and knocking on the door to explain why it is necessary to come on to the land.
If a person has taken another person’s goods on to his or her land, there may be implied permission to retrieve the goods. No damage must be caused in retrieving the goods, and should any dispute arise, the person retrieving the goods should leave and obtain advice from the police.
When an object has entered land without permission, the occupier can do the following:
- Return the object. This is appropriate where no damage is done, and where the entry of the object is not likely to occur frequently.
- Keep the object if damage has been done and request the neighbour to compensate for the damage (but the object must not be destroyed and must be returned when the occupier is compensated for damage).
- Sue the person who committed the trespass to obtain compensation (not worthwhile if little or no damage has been caused).
- Obtain a court order (“injunction”) forbidding any more trespass, but only where a trespass is likely to continue.
Page last updated 22/01/2020