You might have done a lot of work on your house to make sure that the water from the rain does not damage your basement or cause any other problems on your property. You feel certain that these measures will be adequate as long as no one deliberately puts water in your house. However, you notice after the last rainfall that you are still suffering water damage due to the fact that your neighbor that is on top of the hill diverted his or her rainwater so that it ran directly into your property, rather than into the road or a storm drain.
If you able to prove that your neighbor was careless about how he or she diverted his or her water flow, you will be able to get the funds from your neighbor to repair the water damage you suffered, as well as any expenses that you had to pay to stay somewhere else while your house was being rid of water and mold. Here are some possible ways to get proof that your neighbor was the reason why your house took damage.
1. Take Pictures
If your neighbor was able to divert enough water away from his or her home to do damage to your home, then there's a good chance that the water tracks left a mark. Search around your home and check to see if you can find any wide swathes of mud that look as though they have been ground down by water rushing over them. If you can find any similar evidence, document it. You want to take pictures as soon as the rain stops and it is clear enough for your camera to accurately capture the information.
If possible, go up to your neighbors property and take pictures of any structures that he or she might have created, such as wooden runoff diverters, that show that he or she took an active part in diverting the water.
2. Search for Broken Pipes
Another possible problem is that your neighbor's water pipes burst when the rainwater went through, causing the water to flow from his or her property to yours. Search the ground for any wet patches of grass that are far more soaked then the other grass around it. This is where the pipe has burst. Document the location of this water and ask your neighbor for permission to dig up the area to expose the broken pipe.
3. Check the Law
There are two different types of laws that govern this dispute in the US. The first is the Common Enemy law, which states that rainwater is the common enemy and that every landowner must do what he or she can to divert it. This law is only in effect in a few states and many states have modified it to state that the landowner should do whatever he or she can to make sure that it does not damage the surrounding land.
The second type of law is civil law, which states that one neighbor cannot damage another neighbor's property. This law will give you more of a chance to get the money you need for repairs.
For more information, talk to a lawyer at a firm like Leen and Emery.