The flow of surface water, water leakage, run-off damage and overflow from an adjoining property’s drains, sewers or burst pipes can be a source of dispute between adjoining land owners including a health and safety risk.
Disputes between neighbours over water run-off damage to a property can arise due to many factors including poor drainage systems, the level of the property and heavy rain.
If you are a strata scheme and water run-off damage is being caused, or is likely to be caused, by the flow of surface water across the strata scheme’s land from an adjoining property and the strata scheme’s neighbour is not willing to address the issue, the strata scheme has a number of options.
First, the strata scheme could contact its local council and seek that the local council issue an order under section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993 to the owner or occupier of the adjoining property to take action to remedy the flow.
Alternatively, if the water overflow is unintentional, ongoing and causing damage to the strata scheme’s common property, it may constitute a nuisance or it may be negligence if the water overflow is the result of the neighbouring land owner’s negligence. Damages is the most appropriate remedy for claims in nuisance and negligence.
Further, if the water flow is caused by an intentional act by the adjoining land owner, the adjoining land owner may be liable in damages for trespass to land.
If you have a neigbour dispute which involves issues of water run-off damage, it is recommended that you seek legal advice before taking any action. Also note that there is a 6 year limitation period for claims in negligence.
Please note that the information contained in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should obtain legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon the contents of this article.