stickywire

Grading your neighbor’s ire

by Stickywire on Monday April 23, 2012

You might not get along with your neighbor because any of a host of problems including the fact the nitwit insists on trespassing on your property any time he feels like it. But the one thing that is guaranteed to upset a neighbor is water flowing from your property onto his.

Grading is a common cause of friction. Your property must be slanted away from your home so that water doesn’t pool next to your foundation and enter your home. However, property should not be graded so that it sends all the water from a rainstorm from your lawn onto his.

There are municipal regulations governing grading of property. New housing properties must be described in a plan created by the builder and approved by the municipality.

If you buy a home, new or used, and change the grading, you are responsible for any problems encountered by your neighbors. Adding sod, dumping dirt into a depression, planting or cutting down a tree or changing the whole slope of your property can play havoc with drainage to your next-door neighbors. If the grading is improper, you can face a hefty lawsuit and chances are good that you will lose.

Make sure your landscaping does not block easements or swales – the drainage channels that direct storm water away from houses. Ensure that changes to gardens next to your home, fencing, construction or expansion of swimming pools, walkways, decks, patios and other structures don’t affect drainage into your neighbor’s yard.

If you make a mistake that damages your neighbor’s property, you could be in for much more than a mild spat.

 

 

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