Landowner’s Right to Use and Enjoyment of Property


A landowner is entitled to use his/her property in such a way that maximizes his/her enjoyment.  However, the enjoyment must not unreasonably interfere or disturb the rights of adjoining landholders or create a private nuisance[i].  Thus, a landowner can use his/her property according to his/her will upon the condition that such use will not disturb or injure any adjoining landowner.

Similarly, a landowner can put his/her property to any lawful use as far as s/he does not deprive the adjoining owner’s right of enjoyment of his/her property.  However, such use by the property owner should not amount to a nuisance in law.

In Abbinett v. Fox [ii], it is observed that a landowner is entitled to use his/her property in a manner that maximizes his/her enjoyment.  However, the enjoyment must not unreasonably interfere or disturb the rights of adjoining landholders or create a private nuisance.

In Southwest Weather Research, Inc. v. Duncan [iii], the court held that the reasonable use and enjoyment of property includes the right to natural rainfall.  Court observed that all forms of natural precipitation are elements of the natural condition of the land.  Precipitation like air, oxygen, sunlight, and soil is an essential to many reasonable uses of the land.  To the extent that rain is important to the use of land, the landowner is entitled to the natural rainfall.

[i] Abbinett v. Fox, 103 N.M. 80 (N.M. Ct. App. 1985)

[ii] 103 N.M. 80 (N.M. Ct. App. 1985)

[iii] 319 S.W.2d 940 (Tex. Civ. App. El Paso 1958)