My neighbour's building work has caused my house to flood – what are my rights?

BUILDING work is common among households – but what if your neighbour's construction caused your house to flood?

A disgruntled homeowner took to the internet seeking advice on whether they have any legal standing in such a situation.

They said their house is flooded after the neighbour covered several drainage ditches in the course of doing work on their property.

The homeowner wrote to The Times: "Surface water from three homes drain on to a private gravel road running down the side of my property.

"It has always drained properly until a neighbour filled in some roadside ditches. Now the water runs on to my property. Can I do anything about this?"

So what are you rights if this happens to you?

Read More on neighbour disputes

Disagreements between neighbours are not uncommon – a Reddit user was recently left furious about their neighbour’s property renovations after it left their garden in a state.

It’s a good idea to find out what you can do if your neighbour's construction work causes you troubles.

A barrister with Tanfield Chambers told The Times that this could constitute private nuisance, which is when a landowner does something they are entitled to do but which causes physical damage to a neighbour’s land.

He said: "A person is not ordinarily liable for rainwater that accumulates naturally and flows downhill, but if someone interferes with the course of a stream, they must ensure that the new course does not overflow on to a neighbour’s land."

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The legal expert explained that it is a nuisance to block a drain if it causes water to overflow on to the land nearby.

He says the person causing the overflow and the owner of the land will be liable in this situation.

"So filling in the ditches and causing the flooding is likely to amount to an actionable private nuisance," the barrister added.

If your neighbour is being a nuisance then in the first instance you should try to talk to them about the situation.

If you can't resolve the problem and are considering court action, first consider mediation – it’s not free, but it’s considerably cheaper.

As a last resort, you could potentially report them to the council and see if it will investigate.

The council has power to bring a case in the Magistrates’ Court if it decides it's a statutory nuisance (unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land).

Property feuds are very common among households, here is what you can do if your neighbour’s fence blows down into my garden and they refuse to remove it.

And we look at what your rights are if you want your neighbour to split the cost of a new fence.

Read More on The Sun

For others, nosey neighbours are an issue, leaving many wondering what can be done to alleviate the problem.

Driveways can also cause problems – we explain what you can do if your neighbour keeps blocking your driveway.

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