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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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If graffiti on a house wall in public defames or slanders a

Customer Question

If graffiti on a house wall in public defames or slanders a named person, is house owner liable to be sued.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Is there any reason you think they may be?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It would be a bargaining tool to get the graffiti removed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are they effectively publishing (making public) this material by letting it remain on the wall?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

No, not really.

They cannot really be said to be publishing it. It is not an act of their choosing.

It would be different with a newspaper that had chosen to carry an article.

Unless they were responsible for the graffiti they cannot answer for third parties.

On that basis the councils would always be liable for any graffiti.

Sorry if that is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Does that mean that the councils policy of not cleaning private property would not be defensible in this kind of case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Actually it could be good news as the council has refused to clean anything off private property, but this could be an exception. Jill.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

The council don't have an obligation to clean it up on private property and, in fact, no rights to do so.

There are offences in displaying something that would offend against the public order act. However, they would have to show that the house holder was responsible for the graffiti.