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  1. #1
    Upland is offline Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Unhappy lower elevation property owner build wall stops water flow, etc.

    What is the name of your state?
    Tennessee

    My next door neighbor had a driveway and retaining wall installed at the end of last year. The builder added dirt to my property to bring the elevation up to the wall. Afterwards, my land slopes down from my home 15 feet and the slightly up to his wall. The property line is 18 from the new wall. I asked that the fill dirt be graded so that natural water flow into the gravel installed between the property line and wall. My neighbor stated he would ask the gentleman who did the work. I also stated that I feared the lowpoint now created would backup to my home, to which my neighbor replied it would be a shame. Now 2 months later my property holds water each time it rains in the low spot. I contacted the city engineer in regards to this. She called back later informing me that the land held water for half the day, but then the surface water drained into my property. Because it did not stay for a long period she had no grounds to require him to fix it. I advised her that the land cannot be walked upon for the next few days afterwards because of the soggy conditions. Lastly, my neighbor has put down a few handfulls of seed (literally) and straw thrown here and there. I have pictures of before and after, with dry and wet conditions.

    My question is: Is litigation a reasonable next step in my state or will I be wasting my time and money? My neighbor has shown no willingness to fix the situation, so I'm am at my wits end.

    Thank you for your time.
  2. #2
    lizjimbo is offline Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Cheaper for you to fix

    If you did not give the contractor authority to grade on your property, then it seems as they should make you whole, however, it may be simpler to just have another contractor repair the problem. I am not sure if your area allows grading on someone elses property without permission. If they inhibited the natural drainage by forcing all the stormwater on you, you might have a claim. Contact a local civil engineer to investigate what remedies need to be taken. Your engineer should be able to tell you if the problem was caused by the adjacent construction and what a cause of action, if any, are available.
  3. #3
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizjimbo View Post
    If you did not give the contractor authority to grade on your property, then it seems as they should make you whole, however, it may be simpler to just have another contractor repair the problem. I am not sure if your area allows grading on someone elses property without permission. If they inhibited the natural drainage by forcing all the stormwater on you, you might have a claim. Contact a local civil engineer to investigate what remedies need to be taken. Your engineer should be able to tell you if the problem was caused by the adjacent construction and what a cause of action, if any, are available.
    While I certainly agree with all that, let's back off and look at this.

    How much will it cost to fix the problem? A dump truck full of good soil and a bag of grass seed? Or $10K?

    Use the dollar measuring stick to make your decision.

    (You know now that you should've had a real estate lawyer draw up the contract the first time.)
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  4. #4
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge View Post
    While I certainly agree with all that, let's back off and look at this.

    How much will it cost to fix the problem? A dump truck full of good soil and a bag of grass seed? Or $10K?

    Use the dollar measuring stick to make your decision.

    (You know now that you should've had a real estate lawyer draw up the contract the first time.)
    I'd dig out a bed and enjoy planting some bog plants that would absorb and do well in damp soil:

    Ligularia, Elephant's ear, Joe Pye Weed, or whatever is an environmentally appropriate, non-invasive species for that zone. I've got this danged flat yard, with very limited elevation, and would LOVE to be able to maintain a bog plant area.

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