Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Massachusetts

If a neighbor drains all the rain water from his back yard to your back yard by means of French drain system , is it illegal ? And there is tons of water damage to the fence, yard ,basement and house, what is the best recourse?

Asked on 4/01/14, 5:00 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

You have a claim for nuisance damages. While your neighbor can install french drains, those drains cannot change the flow of water onto your property. If that is the case, you have a claim for nuisance.

I would contact the local building dept or health dept to see if the french drains have changed and/or increased the volume of water being dumped on your property. If it has they will issue a citation and request the situation be corrected. Alternatively, contact an expert to make such a determination and then send a letter demanding reimbursement for your damages and that they correct the situation as soon as practical.

Please feel free to contact if you have more questions.

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Answered on 4/01/14, 6:01 pm
Alan Pransky Law Office of Alan J. Pransky

Every landowner has the duty to not channel surface water from their property onto the property of another. If they do, you can sue for damages. This duty is separate and distinct from nuisance which Attorney Roth correctly advises as a cause of action. You can go to court and seek an injunction against the channeling of water to your property. The neighbor could have defenses against this but an injunction would require immediate action from the neighbor. You should consult an attorney as soon as possible to address this problem.

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Answered on 4/02/14, 8:07 am
Jonas Jacobson Law Offices of Jonas Jacobson

This is a clear nuisance claim. You need to deal with it, or you could have a flood in your house - a flood potentially not covered by your insurance policy. Feel free to call: 617-230-2779

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Answered on 4/03/14, 5:04 pm

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