Do you experience surface flooding and puddles around your property and yard due to your neighbour’s water runoff? Do you need stormwater solutions to prevent damage to your property?
Water runoff after rain events can cause trouble for your property. This is made worse when the runoff is coming from your neighbour’s property.
Flooding due to neighbour’s water runoff
If you’re downhill from a neighbour or any construction, you may experience water runoff entering your property. This may be historic or be the result of recent alterations at your neighbour’s property.
It’s important to manage stormwater on your land to avoiding damaging your neighbour’s property as well as your own. You are responsible for maintaining stormwater pipes, gutters, downpipes, gully pits and any other component of a drainage system related to your house or any other structure on the premises.
Generally, the law requires all owners to address their own water needs and restricts any development from increasing the natural flow to their neighbour.
To avoid damaging your own or a neighbour’s property, you must make sure that your property’s stormwater system is connected to a legal point of discharge. This can be either to the public drainage system (including kerb and gutter) or an inter-allotment drainage system (within dedicated easements).
If stormwater is running onto your property from a neighbour’s property this is considered by most Councils as a private matter.
As with most neighbourhood issues, the best result is achieved by discussion and negotiation with your neighbour. Drains and diversion paths in both your property and your neighbours are likely to be the best outcome.
Stormwater Sydney can assist by proposing solutions that are acceptable to both parties.
Runoff due to New Development
If the runoff is associated with a new development, you can talk to the Builder, the Certifier and/or Council as increasing the water flow is likely to be a breach of approval conditions.
You will need to document the issues and show a case that the development is causing the impact. Stormwater Sydney can assist by undertaking a Stormwater Investigation on your property.
When to get Council Involved?
Whilst Councils are reluctant to get involved in neighbourhood issues, they do have the responsibility under the Local Government Act and are often the only party that can bring a resolution across several neighbours.
Expect Council to advise that it is not their responsibility on first communication with them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t escalate it to your local Councillors as an issue. The Councils can get the staff to help resolve issues.
Council does have the power under the LG Act to direct a property owner to take action to remedy the flow to a neighbour.
Stormwater Sydney can assist you and your neighbours make a compelling argument to the Council to get involved.
Disputes over Water Runoff
When the dispute is purely between yourself and your neighbour, there are still avenues for you to pursue.
There are numerous legal approaches to disputes. Legislation such as the Conveyancing Act makes it the responsibility of the resident to ensure that their home has a stormwater system that is well maintained and properly connected to the wider stormwater system. This and other paths will require the advice of legal professionals.
Depending on the issue the NSW Fair Trading and NCAT might be able to provide either a mediation or enforcement mechanism.
Stormwater Sydney cannot provide you with legal advice but can assist in identifying the issues, solution and possible resolution paths.