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Is my neighbor liable for storm water damage on my property?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Some homeowners decide to sue when water from their neighbor’s area causes damage to their property, such as when the neighbor’s above-ground pool bursts and floods the homeowner’s garden. Ascertaining liability, however, becomes more complicated when water damage occurs because of natural weather phenomena like rain and hurricanes.

The following questions might help you determine if your neighbor may be liable for water damage to your property after a storm.

Did your neighbor alter their land?

Builders usually employ various measures to control the flow of surface water. For instance, they might grade lots to divert water from uphill to the sides of downhill houses and into a drainage. Some land alterations can reduce the efficiency of these measures and redirect the flow of water, potentially causing flooding in surrounding areas.

Was the alteration reasonable?

California law allows homeowners to alter their land even if these modifications affect the flow of surface water, although these changes must be reasonable. The law recommends examining the alteration project’s benefits, significance, and execution to determine whether it is reasonable.

Did your neighbor consider the possible effects?

Landowners should examine the potential impacts that altering their land may cause on neighboring properties. It helps to consult construction and landscaping specialists regarding this matter before proceeding with projects that could potentially affect surface water runoff.

Flooding can occur after heavy rainfall, but the issue may worsen because of certain land alterations. Real estate and water drainage laws are constantly changing; understanding them will help you protect your property from damage and your rights as a homeowner.