Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New York

I live in NY. Last fall a neighbor of mine bought a piece of vacant property behind my home. The property had previously been a dairy (delivery only not dairy farm) They renovated the buildings and installed a driveway from their property back to the dairy and covered it in gravel. The owner mentioned to me in passing that there was a lot of standing water on their property and when it rained a large amount of their gravel driveway washed away. The owner ended up installing drainage himself which diverts all water from his land directly into my yard. I advised him when he was doing the work that he needed to be sure to divert the water to the storm drains but this was not done. Now after the first large snow melting of the season all of the melting snow and rain water follows this new drainage route that he has created and funnels the water directly at my driveway and garage foundation. My garage door has started to buckle and the molding has cracked, there are also what appear to be several sink holes in the driveway near the garage. All this damage literally occurred overnight from the runoff from his drain. This issue never occurred before in the time I have owned the property and appears to be solely caused by the drainage my neighbor installed. Code enforcement is going to send a letter that the drainage needs to be replaced and done properly but do I have a case for my property damage? I don't even want to put my car in the garage at this point as the driveway crumbles as I drive up to it.

Asked on 1/12/18, 9:36 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Bryan Richard Bryan Attorney PC

Of course you have a case. Did you go talk to the guy and tell him to come over and look at the damage? I would do that today. Take lots of pictures, of your property and damage and his property and the drainage. You should call your homeowner's insurance broker right away and ask your neighbor to do the same. He has insurance; whether they pay up or not is a different matter. Call your insurance broker first and see what he says.

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Answered on 1/12/18, 10:25 am

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