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My neighbor gutters drain water onto my property. What right do I have to require my neighbor to divert this water.

San Mateo, CA |
Filed under: Real estate

After 10 years of occupying my home, I discovered in a recent downpour water gushing under a fence on the property line with my neighbor. I believe that this water has contributed to the deterioration of two of my coast live oaks that are water adverse trees. Trying to find the source of the excess water, I looked over the fence and found an extended pipe from my neighbor's drain pipes where the water was gushing from. When I pointed this out to my neighbors and asked them how we were going to solve it, they claimed that a solution to divert the water would damage their coast live oaks as well and possibly put the neighbors below them at risk. They refused to do anything about it. I want to solve this amiably, but I think I have some rights here and want the water diverted, true?

Thank you for the comments. To answer your question, the drain pipe on my neighbor's property ends two feet from our down slope property directly gushing water under a property line fence onto our property. The drain has contributed to water damage of two historic Coast Live Oaks that are within 20 to 40 feet from it according to Davey Tree Company.

Attorney Answers 1


Your neighbor appears to be intentionally damaging your property, but it isn't clear from your question where the extended pipe of your neighbor's house goes. You may have a claim for nuisance. Take pictures and show them to an attorney who practices civil law and real estate. If the pipe is pointed straight at your property and you can show damage as a result, you may have a good claim. While everyone is entitled to the use of their own property, they cannot use it in such a manner as to cause a nuisance to another's property. Maybe suggest a pipe that disperses the water instead of directing it just toward your property.

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