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Thread: Neighbor issue - WWYD?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    4,356

    Neighbor issue - WWYD?

    So my neighbor thinks my gutters are the cause of flooding in her basement. I'm not sure if the water is coming in around her windows or a crack in her foundation or what. Now, my gutters drain DOWN slope from her house by a couple feet (the extension is really long and buried so that it comes out behind our homes. Her response? There must be either be a blockage or a hole in the gutters. Ok....then why does tons of water come out of them still?

    Now this woman's house sits BELOW mine. She's just at a low spot for the street. Every rain storm she gets a lake in her backyard. I'm sure my gutters are responsible for that too.

    So her last suggestion was for me to reroute my one gutter into my flower bed. Basically let all the water drain right into my foundation. Uh-huh... I politely told her that we were getting all new gutters and I was sure they'd be installed properly.

    So yesterday before I even went out to talk with the crew she came over and started in on them about are they putting in gutters and the current ones are causing her basement to flood and yadda yadda yadda. The crew leader was like, um...what's up with your neighbor?

    Can you believe she started demanding things from a construction crew at MY house??? :mad: The crew couldn't. My question is what do I tell this woman when the new gutters are installed in the same place? The crew agrees with me that the current configuration is the best one for my house. I cannot help that her house sits below mine. I just can't. I know she's going to come over and be mad and demand that I redo it. How do I politely tell her it isn't my problem?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    913
    This is the same issue that has happened with the woman accross the street from me and her neighbor. I have written about this complaining neighbor before on dog walking issues!!!

    The neigbor getting the water complained so much that the town had to be called in. Very long story made short.... the town inspected the yards and determined that is what happens when you buy a house that is lower then your neighbors. They complaining neighbor had to add a drain in her yard and made some changes to a flower bed to redirect water flow. The town determined that my friend did not do anything that caused the water flow issue.

    This complaining neigbor also spoke to my friends workers telling them they had to change what they were doing. The worker was very nice but stern and told her that she was not the one paying his bill so he would not take any orders frm her.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    6,489
    The property we are building on is lower than everyone around it (gives us privacy--I actually like it, but is 5.5 acres, square so it is not a typical lot) and it is big enough that we are building on a high point within it--i.e., we still have room for water to drain away. Anyway, the point being the neighbor has a manmade pond that they are draining illegally into our lot (I suspect previous owners did it, not the current owners). We chose rather than make a fuss upon moving into the neighborhood to have a drain built that will shuttle the water across our property into our creek on the far side. So I guess my point is twofold. It is possible to be draining your water illegally somehow so make sure you are not (I am guessing not since you had crew out there looking at it). Second, this woman needs to install a drain--her property is lower than yours, it is called gravity.

    I think I would just politely ignore her. It does not sound like this woman will ever be happy.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  4. #4
    I second luvItalian's suggestion of having the city come out and assess the slope, drainage, etc and ensure the runoff from your gutters isn't the issue. It sounds like you have the runoff well under control with the buried drain line running below and away from the neighbor's house. And based on what you have said about their back yard filling like a lake it's not due to gutter runoff. However, it sounds like the neighbor won't be satisfied until there is proof to show it's not the gutter runoff but most likely just the fact that their house is in a bowl.
    I'm not sure if there is a charge for the city to come out to inspect. But it might be worth it to get an official report and put this behind you. (Who knows, maybe the neighbor would be willing to split the cost of the inspection if there is a charge?)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    4,356
    So the contractor just stopped by to drop off the permit - it includes the gutters. Therefor it all has to be done to code and at least I can tell her that if she asks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    20,664
    Your story reminds me of our former neighbor at another house.

    We had a neighbor whose house was on the edge of a pond -- which meant that her lot was on the low side and water drained across the back of it. Her house set up as it should and there was no problem with it. But she didn't like the water running across her lot. She created dams adn blocked the water (illegally). We had to add a creekbed to bringhte water forward to join a French drain to go out the front of our lot instead of the back. That was an existing drain, adn when we did the work on ours, DH had offered to help her dig up and repair a collapsed drain on her side of the lot line because her husband travelled a lot. She refused.

    Imagine our surprise when we got served with a summons and found out that she'd sued us claiming that we'd changed our drainage, installed a new drain and caused water to go across her lot. We had our day in small claims court. It was rather amusing to see the judge catch on to the changing stories adn then to realize that what the lady wanted was for us to pay to have her drains repaired. The case was quickly dismissed.

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