liability questions around drainage

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genie
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liability questions around drainage

Post by genie » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:28 pm

We moved into our current property Jan 2012 and have 'inherited' a problem with drainage and our neighbours land. Natural drainage runs diagonally across the back garden down TOWARDS the house (and theirs!). Our block paved patio is edged by a concrete base-panelled fence with a gap between it and the patio which is concrete lined (to support the block paving?) and filled with cobbles. His land is naturally about 2ft lower than ours but he has a raised bed abutting the fence which he states the water flows over and washes the soil off!

Last weeks storm brought him round to our door asking when we are going to do something about it! He believes a surface drain running down the patio towards our house should have been built when the patio was extended by the previous owners. He acknowledges that we cant do much about the ground water but firmly believes that a drain will alleviate the flooding he gets around his property when we have heavy or continuous rain.

Obviously the previous owners didnt tell us there was an issue (he had raised it with them once he states) - we feel honour bound to do something but dont want to go to great expense such as land drains unless we HAVE to! I have been told by a landscaper that there are legal issues involved here and a look at the internet seems to support that. We are planning to reduce the size of the hard landscaping anyway and introduce a large flower bed which we think will help but we are wondering how liable we are to do something about it?

Advice would be appreciated. The local council say it is a Civil matter and Severn Trent arent interested either. We never budgeted for this sort of work but hes now raised it 3 times with us in the 18 months we've lived here. We want to be reasonable but need to be prepared!

kipper
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by kipper » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:34 pm

If the land drains naturally towards the neighbour and his land is nsturally 2' lower than your land then I doubt the construction of the patio has contributed significantly, if at all, to the drainage of water onto his land.

genie
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by genie » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:55 am

Thanks Kipper however he says it has! It must have been down 6yrs or so and it seems he only raised it once in that time with the previous owners (I think he may have been a little scared of her).

He now tells me that there used to be a hedge where the fence is now! That obviously absorbed a lot of moisture! The installation of the fence was a mutually agreeable remedy to the problem of her dogs and his dog trying to get a t each other and digging through the hedge! The more I think about it I don't see why we should have to pay the price of a bad decision years before we even owned the property!

kipper
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by kipper » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:51 pm

Tell him the water is not being artificially drained to his land, it is natural run-off, which will cause problems in severe downpours and when the ground is dry, therefore he needs to sort out his own drainage. This should be pretty obvious to most people now with the warnings of flash-flooding and explanations of why this happens being so prevalent in the media over the last few years. He will need to conclusively prove otherwise.

genie
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by genie » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:41 pm

Thanks Kipper. He has never mentioned whether he has done OR intends to do anything himself. I shall advise him accordingly....in the nicest terms of course.

Thanks for your input!

despair
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by despair » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:15 pm

tell him to install guttering at the base of your fence and direct the run off into a water butt and use the water sensibly in his garden

genie
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by genie » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:09 am

Thanks despair....it's an option for him although not enough height for a Butt I don't think. Maybe he could direct it to a drain.......that's for him to decide. I dare say he believes that it was the removal of the hedge, installation of a fence and increase in patio size that caused his problems. He needs to take some responsibility himself so we have to discuss this and tell him what we are willing to do and 'no more'!

arborlad
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by arborlad » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:57 pm

genie wrote:We moved into our current property Jan 2012 and have 'inherited' a problem with drainage and our neighbours land. Natural drainage runs diagonally across the back garden down TOWARDS the house (and theirs!). Our block paved patio is edged by a concrete base-panelled fence with a gap between it and the patio which is concrete lined (to support the block paving?) and filled with cobbles. His land is naturally about 2ft lower than ours but he has a raised bed abutting the fence which he states the water flows over and washes the soil off!

In this context there are two types of water, groundwater and surface water.

Groundwater is what falls as rain onto your land, permeates naturally through the land and any lower landowner is obliged to accept it, in the same way that you are obliged to accept it from a higher landowner.

Surface water is anything that falls on roofs, patios, drives etc., or anything that is piped or channeled in any way, must be dealt with entirely within your own curtailage and into a suitable drain or watercourse.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

kipper
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by kipper » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:51 pm

Is it possible the concrete lined "gap" filled with cobbles is some sort of French drain?

genie
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by genie » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:26 pm

kipper wrote:Is it possible the concrete lined "gap" filled with cobbles is some sort of French drain?
Hello - it's slopes down from the edge of the patio to under the fence so it only drains away from our house I'm afraid!

I've managed to find some advice from my local county council - they can visit and talk to us about the site! It's a new team apparently come about due to the heavy rain and flooding we've had over the last few years. They will give us independant advice.

My only concern is we might be committing ourselves to more than we expected? It's a risk we need to take I think.

:? :?

kipper
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Re: liability questions around drainage

Post by kipper » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:23 pm

genie wrote:
kipper wrote:Is it possible the concrete lined "gap" filled with cobbles is some sort of French drain?
Hello - it's slopes down from the edge of the patio to under the fence so it only drains away from our house I'm afraid!
You said the fence has a concrete gravel board so how does it slope under the fence? Does it drain directly onto his land? Photos would help here. It may be possible to use this gap to create a drain to a soakaway in your garden (depending on the ground) if there is no drain nearby, although you don't describe a problem during normal periods of rain and i am not sure any type of domestic drainage will cope with run-off from your land during exceptional periods of rainfall. Just because the surface run-off during these exceptional periods crosses your patio does not mean that your patio drainage has to cope with it, but your normal patio drainage should not drain directly to your neighbours land.

He still needs to accept that because of the lie of the land he will most likely have to deal with some flooding due to run-off and saturation during these periods, therefore an "ok, we will do this, but you need to do that as well" compromise is probably required.

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