Nuisance Run Off Water
I have just recently had a question from one of our owner builder students in respect to their rights when it cones to water ingress from an adjoing property.
The law and your rights vary slightly from state to state, but the overall approach is reasonably consistent.
Owner Builders need to be aware that council will only act under local legislation when there is a breach in the building code and the design is such that is creates a nuisance to adjoining properties.
Following is an extract from the Queensland Local Government legisaltion. Basically, where design codes and building laws have been follwed, run off water issues and resultatnt disputes or litigation become a civil matter;
Council can also respond to complaints relating to nuisances and flooding as a result of illegal or incorrectly constructed building and structures.
Water flow problems caused by the natural lay of the land, or from overland flow, are a civil matter. If you have an issue with any of the following, you should first speak to your neighbour:
Disputes resolutionIf you wish to formally manage discussions, you may also consider contacting the Disputes Resolution Centre. The centre offers free advice and mediation services and can be contacted on 07 3239 6007.
I hope this helps our owner builder students to better understand their legal rights and responsibilities in respect to rainwater and groundwater run off issues.
Thanks and Best Reagrds,
We live in a fairly new estate and our next door neighbor had a pool installed. The blocks behind us that are slightly higher had not been completed yet. During heavy rain fall the pool and yard next door would flood and fill up about 300mm thick with sludge. This happend quite a few times. Council was contacted and the area developer a few times and after a lot of notifying they installed a drain into the storm water up the road and this allowed a lot of the upstream water to flow away. There was also a lot of communication with the persons that were building in the blocks behind us (as there were building) to please ensure they allow for surface drains to assist in removing the water that flowed down on to there land.
During building of our garage by local experienced shed builders, we were stopped from progressing because of risk of soil erosion from water entering our property directly from the neighbours home , risking movements of the fence.
Ok, well council has been provided with an engineers report specifically stating that the fence/levee/retaining wall the neighbour has built has cut off the overland water flow into his property, damming us in. He has also built another section on his property to funnel more water onto our property. We will continue to pursue council to do their job like they said they would in January, but in the mean time, I take it all we can do is go civil on the neighbours ass? So I need the specific law that says that what he has done is illegal, or is it just classed as a nuisance? He has broken quite a few laws and its going to be a big project, but this is the only one I am having difficulty narrowing down to a law. any and all info greatly appreciated. :)
Interested to know your thoughts on water tanks under a proposed deck? I ask as I know council will want me to have some storage. I am happy to have them but I am on a very small block and don't have the room for a more traditional style tank. My 1920's brick home has all storm water pipes releasing onto concrete surrounding my home which works well and would like for those to remain. My extension catchment I am happy to store in tanks but they would need to be under the deck. Are there any issues with this apart from accessibility?
My neighbor has recently added concrete driveway for his 5th wheel and we already are the lower property. Now when it rains my yard becomes a lake. The concrete butts up to my privacy fence where now all his rain water flows to my yard and I alone carry the burden of his over flow and mine. We have never ever had this problem until the concrete was put in. Help
I am on a property at the bottom of a hill - recent heavy rain here in cordalba Queensland has created significant flooding from hill top down to properties down the hill with a mass of flood water reaching my property resulting in fence falling over due to water pressure lakes forming on front and back yard and river flow over property heading down our driveway - the impact is totally the result of direct flow from adjoining property next step up the hill - council consider this of no interest to them and advise no law requires my neighbour in the flood source property to prevent the flood water flow to my destination of flood water property - now 14 floods since Nov 2021 and massive clean up of mud and septic from neighbours property each flooding - any comments would be appreciated
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Rick Heaton is a Building and Construction Industry professional with formal tertiary qualifications in management and training.