Atlanta, GA asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for North Carolina

Q: potential neighbor stated he will sue us for what builder has done.

Back behind the house on the lot is a big hill of dirt from which I guess the builder was excavating. He put pine straw all over it. The neighbor (house built by the same builder) has had damage to his well kept yard, he had to spend $5000 to build a trench from the water runoff, not to mention damage maybe to his expensive sod. I was over at the home we are in the process of buying, met the neighbor he’s very upset about the dirt in the back. He says something about suing us for the dirt if it’s not fixed even though it was the builder that did it and they refuse to move it saying that it is non issue and that the builder has had it tested and water draining just fine. Can this neighbor sue us for the dirt even though it was the builders doing way before we even considered the property. It’s new home if that matters

1 Lawyer Answer
Paige Kurtz
Paige Kurtz
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: If you don't own the property, then there can be no suit against you. However, if you do purchase the home and it is a condition on your property that is creating an issue for your neighbor, there may be a claim. Since you are in the process of purchasing the home, you should resolve this issue with the builder. You could agree to an indemnification clause with the builder in the event that a lawsuit does occur.

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