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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    flooding back yard/legal rights to fix problem?

    What is the name of your state? Ohio

    I would like to know what rights I have regarding fixing a water problem in our yard. I live in a neighborhood with a collapsed sewer behind me. The city collapsed the sewer some years back and, as a result, water has no where to go. Many houses on my street, including mine and my neighbors, have water building up in the back yard when it rains.

    My neighbor has a drain in the back of her yard that connects to the sewer. By running a trench to the drain, we could fix both ours and her water problems. We've been told by the city that it's a public drain, but there's no written document stating that there is an easement on this drain for us to run a trench to. She refuses to let us run the trench, even though we're willing to pay for it entirely. She says she doesn't plan to move and doesn't really care that she gets a lot of water in her yard. She just doesn't want her yard dug up. The problem is, we are getting ready to move, but don't want to leave the future owners with a water problem.

    One alternative that we came up with was building up our yard with dirt to properly grade the yard. However, we know that in doing this, it will push the water elsewhere. We could build up the yard and attempt to run a trench from the back of the house to the front of the house (the street). Our concern is that we could be liable if our actions further contribute to her water problems (especially if we build up the yard, but don't run a trench to the street). What legal rights do we have to attempt to fix our water issue? Could our neighbor sue us if we graded our yard and it made her water problem worse?

    We'd like to know our legal rights before we do anything. Our neighbor could prevent us from being able to sell our home (as we cannot sell with a water issue). There has to be some legal right we have to fix our problem.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    St. Odo of Cluny Parish
    Disclose, disclose, disclose.

    You didn't say exactly what problems the water is causing, but if you are fixing to sell this place, then simply explain the situation on the real estate listing.

    You can't force your neighbor to let you use her property and you can not build up your place to force the water somewhere else.

    So, as I said, disclose, disclose, and disclose.

    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Thanks for your quick response.

    So we have no legal rights to fix our problem? We just have to leave it?

    I would think that we could build up our yard to at least make it level. It dips down quite a bit in the middle. It may not fix the problem entirely, but it could help. Can we not do that because it may mean more water on her side? If we had no water issue, but decided we wanted to level our yard, we could do that right? Is it because it could cause a problem for her that we could face litigation if we did it?


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