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How do I approach a real estate legal dispute?

El Centro, CA |

I had two main problems with my former neighbor: (1) water was trespassing because of defects in backyard sprinkle system and because he modified the grading where now excess water comes to my side and not the stree (2) he built a shade that encroches my side of the property and it is violating city building code. I found out on Thursday that the house was on sale and is on escrow so I immediately took a letter with pictures to the real estate broker. However, she dismissed my requests to fix these issues and was very rude. Her secretary signed a copy of the letter as proof that I delivered the letter with the information. I already reported the shade to the city on Friday. Now, what legal recourse do I have in regards to fixing the water issue? new owner is now responsible?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If a neighbor re-graded the property that causes run-off to flow to your property, you may have a suit for nuisance and may seek injunctive relief.

    If the shade violates a city building code, file a complaint with the local code enforcement officer.

    I am not a CA attorney, laws vary from state to state, therefore you should always consult a local attorney.

    If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.


  2. Mr. Millar gave you good advice. I would add that the letter you sent to the broker will have to be disclosed to the new buyer. Your best and cheapest bet is with the complaint to the City. As for the water issue, I would say that you sue both the new and old owner and let them hash it out. But I suspect that the issue will probably get resolved before having to do that, because the new buyer may force the seller to fix it.

    I will caution you however, to make sure that your claims are well supported, since the seller could sue you for interfering with their sale.

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