Q: What are my rights and options?
Long before I moved into my current residence as a newlywed, the neighbor had a privacy fence built that was known by both homeowners to be over the property line into this property. No easement was asked for or paid. The current owner has 3 downspouts that drain onto my yard (two from the house, 1 from his garage). Is this legal? Can I build up my yard along my side of the fence or put an edging barrier on my side of the fence to prevent his runoff water from pooling in my yard?
A: I encourage you to make an appointment with a lawyer to discuss your options since there are so many variables. For example, if the former owner of your home gave permission to put the fence on your side of the line, you can revoke the permission and demand that it be removed, but if the neighbor thinks it's on his land you need to establish exactly where the fence is in relation to the boundary with a current survey to determine your rights. As to the flow of water, that depends to largely on the lay of the land, that is, if neither his home nor his garage were there, where would the rainwater falling on his lot flow? If it would naturally flow onto your yard it becomes harder to argue that you can create a barrier to block it. These and other variables should be discussed with an attorney.
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