Neighbors drainage pipe


Old 11-01-08, 11:41 AM
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Neighbors drainage pipe

Ive developed a serious problem with my basement thanks to my neighbors new drive. A couple of things that are causing my basement to leak when it rains. First they doubled the size of their concrete driveway and it does slope toward my yard. So I get that drainage. Their roof gutters also run under their drive and extend all the way to the fence line which is less than 3 ft to my foundation. I can clearly see that the water has changed the lay of my yard and the water just heads for my house. They arent going to do anything about their gutter drains. So what should I do? I have thought about running pvc to the ends of their gutter drains and routing that elsewhere. I only have about 2-3 feet from the foundation to their driveway and the gutter pipe ends. Not sure that a French drain would help me here so close to the house. Ive seen some stuff at Lowes that resembles a channel that can be put in the ground but man that stuff adds up real fast. Anybody have any ideas. Im tired of drying my basement out at the slightest rain.
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Old 11-01-08, 01:41 PM
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In some localities it is illegal to route your storm water onto another's property - so you might want to check into that!

I agree the gutter drain needs to be piped away from your foundation although you shouldn't be the one to have to do it. I don't know if there are any legalities involved if you hook up to their drain and pipe it in another direction. It would be nice to know the answer to these 2 questions.
Old 11-01-08, 01:55 PM
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I was going to say something similar, but mark beat me to it.

I thought most places had rules about redirecting storm runoff and grading.

Don't know your relationship with the neighbors on how you would want to pursue that.
Old 11-01-08, 03:50 PM
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There are some forums here down below that deal with housing and also legal.

I can't see how someone legally can extend drains to the edge of THEIR property, specifically so they can obviously dump on YOUR property.
Old 11-02-08, 09:48 AM
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Curious: Being that close to your house,,,,I wonder if he needed a permit....... In our county, if you're closer than 5' to your property line, a permit is required for permenent fixtures to the house or land.

Go see your neighbor in a very cordial friendly manner and ask them to kindly resolve the problem.....DO NOT ARGUE or treat the matter personally......If they flat refuse, smile and leave......

Send a friendly letter (Certified) explaining the problem asking for resolution......DO NOT offer remedies or volunteer any help or suggestions yourself....

Put in the letter the matter is urgent and damage to your home is possible therefore their immediate attention to the matter is necessary also use the keywords are "time is of the essence."
If you have no quick response,,,,take plenty of pictures...(DO NOT go on their property)......

Call your local county authorities (in ours,,,there is is an omsbudsman who can point you in the right direction,,,,,I would call zoning compliance).....and fax them a copy of your "certified letter"........

If no response,,,,,I would hire a very reputable company to fix it noting in their quote the nature of the problem, carefully documenting the reason the work is required,,,send your neighbor the bill, if he doesn't pay it, I would guess that chances are 99% Small Claims Court would give you a judgement....

Get it well documented.

If it were me, I would not attempt to fix the problem myself......if it doesn't work, then you're in the same boat,,,,and you have redress with the company that solves the problem......I would have the utmost confidence that your neighbor doesn't understand the basics of land ownership responsibilities.....and WILL either fix it or pay you.

We have a case across the street from us with the same issues except when the defendent built his home, they brought in many loads of dirt to raise the home a bit above grade........the problem was they sloped the dirt toward the neighbor and at the first big rain, the runoff undermined the adjoining well pump, softener and pressure tank sending them to the ground and breaking the PVC water supply to the house... The new house owner thought that since he had gotten the FINAL and Certificate of Occupancy, it was no longer his issue......WRONG....he lost in small claims, paid, plus looks like the neighborhood schmuck now.......

Do not wait too long between the letter and your final action/resolution or harm is done to your claim of immediacy.

Good Luck

Last edited by hopro; 11-02-08 at 10:10 AM.
Old 11-02-08, 11:42 AM
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If this is a recent development there is often what looks to be a "ditch" behind a long row of houses. It may just be a small depression in a straight line that runs behind all of the houses. If the developer did the right thing, they may have a common drainline that runs behind all of the houses that you can tie into with your gutters and downspouts or your neighbor can tie his into instead of running it into your yard.

If such a drain exists your neighbor will hopefully be willing to dig or bury his lines and connect to that system rather than running all of that water into your property.

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