Can I sue my neighbor for water damage on our shared fence?

Asked over 2 years ago - San Diego, CA

I have new neighbors who moved in this past January. The problem is two sprinkles are literally on the fence hence when they come on the excess water comes to my property and the water has started to damage our shared fence. I made them aware of the problem back in January, one more time in February, and a third time yesterday by leaving them a note on the door with a picture of the water coming on my side. They put back the note on my door and are now ignoring my request. They inherited this problem from the previous owners. I have had this issue now for a year. What can I do? can I keep documenting/taking pictures? retain an attorney who can help me document my case and perhaps write them a letter? or just take them to small claim court? please help. I am feeling so frustrated.


Attorney answers (2)

  1. John Russell Sorensen


    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . You can sue your neighbor on a least two counts. First of all, one who causes water to come on you land can be found liable for trespass. While most people think of trespass as a person entering onto your land, it can also be done through a diversion or direction of water or other matter. Since you have informed your neighbor of the damage of water being caused to your common fence and property, continued diversion/direction of water can also be a basis for claiming punitive damages. A second cause of action is that of nuisance. It is similar to trespass and can be brought when one violates your right to quiet enjoyment of your property. The main problem with your case may be that of damages. You will need to show that the neighbor's activity actually caused damage to your property and in what amount you have been injured..

  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Yes, you can sue, but you will need to be able to document and to quantify your damage. To make your case stronger, I would suggest having an attorney help you write the letter and document your damage in the event you need to go to small claims court.

    Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in... more

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