Laura and Heath decided that they’d had enough of the city. The smog, the noise, and the commotion were all just too much. They decided to build their dream home on a rural piece of property. Once the construction of their home was completed, Laura and Heath moved in. The very first morning, Heath and Laura awoke to the sound of the neighboring farmer’s tractor. The farmer on the other side of Heath and Laura’s property was operating another large piece of machinery. What are Heath and Laura’s rights?
In recent years, more and more urban dwellers have migrated to rural areas in search of peace and quiet. The fact is that rural areas come with their own set of noises and intrusions.
Almost every state has enacted some type of right-to-farm law. In essence, the laws protect farmers from lawsuits by neighbors. Typically, the laws create a presumption that a farmer’s existing agricultural pursuits do not create an actionable nuisance. In other words, if a farmer conducts his farming operation in a reasonable way, new neighbors have no basis to complain.
In addition to the state-enacted right-to-farm laws, many localities have enacted similar laws.
As an initial matter, a buyer interested in a rural property should make a careful review of all applicable laws to determine his or her rights. In that way, the buyer can make an informed determination as to whether he or she would like to make an offer to buy a particular property.