Am I Liable For The Damaged Water Line On My Neighbor’s Property?

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I purchased my home a year ago which has an underground lawn sprinkler system that was installed by the previous owners. My neighbor is planning to put up a fence in the next couple of weeks. Both he and I had the land surveyed and the property lines were staked. The problem is the main water line that supplies water to the sprinkler system was installed about three to six feet in certain areas on his side of the property and it crosses back on to my property. I have three sprinkler heads that are on his property as well as the main water line. If he has the fence installed that would then block my sprinkler heads from watering my lawn so they would need to be moved. My concern is when the fence posts are installed there is a very good chance that the water pipe will be drilled into and broken. The question then is if I extend the sprinkler heads back on to my property but my sprinkler water line gets damaged which is still on his property is it my responsibility to fix it?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Although it probably wasn’t on purpose, the water equipment you have on your neighbor’s property is, essentially, trespassing. The best thing to do would be to reroute the entire system so it’s all on your side of the property line.

If that’s not possible, the second-best option would be to get an easement, or at least written permission, from your neighbor to maintain the lines where they are.

However, trespassing doesn’t give your neighbor the right to destroy your property. If he breaks something, whether in the course of putting in a fence or otherwise, he’s generally responsible for that. However, clearly marking where the pipes are will go a long way toward eliminating any arguments later.

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Author: House Attorney