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Is my neighbor responsible for water damage?

You may prefer to limit your interactions with your Washington neighbors to a friendly wave. When neighbors cause water damage to your home, though, a wave typically will not fix the situation. It is important to know how you should handle these scenarios so you can get the damage fixed as peacefully as possible.

You may think your neighbors are responsible for damage caused by any water from their property. FindLaw says that people are typically liable for this damage only if changes they made to their yard caused more water to run into your yard. After your home or yard incurs water damage because of a neighbor's actions, it is a good idea to contact your homeowner's insurance company. Sometimes, though, this insurance may not cover all of the damage, or there may extra costs associated with the repairs, such as a hotel bill if you have had to vacate your home. 

Water damage can affect your home in many ways and if you choose to seek damages, these may come in many forms. Sometimes your neighbors may need to reimburse you for the expense of staying at a hotel while the water damage is repaired. If you incurred an injury because of the water damage, your neighbor might also need to pay these bills. Additionally, your neighbors may have to pay for the repairs to your property.

If you want to hold your neighbors responsible for water damage, your situation usually needs to fit particular legal scenarios. One is the civil law rule. In this situation, your neighbors might be responsible for damage if they made alterations to their property and these changes brought more water than normal coursing across your land. Another situation concerns whether a landscaping change was reasonable. This means that a homeowner may have known the property changes might cause more damage to your yard. A third situation involves negligence. This means that your neighbor may have clogged the rain gutters or failed to take steps to keep the indoor water pipes from bursting.

This information is general in nature and should not be used in place of legal advice.


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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
7331 196th Street, SW
P.O. Box 1067
Lynnwood, WA 98046

Phone: 425-329-7857
Phone: 425-776-3191
Fax: 425-775-0406
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