I live in the town of La Plata, Maryland. We live downhill and when it rains we have water flow through our back yard. The water flows through the next property to a water pipe. People bought the house next to ours to flip. They did not like the natural water flow so they put up a curb which caused my yard and under my house to flood. We asked them to take it down because the pipe is on the other side of their house. We went to the town of La Plata for help and they told us that they cannot do that but later told us that it was a civil problem. The neighbor even told the town that he caused a problem. We do not have a lot of money and we do not know what to do. They are getting ready do sell the house and we will have to live with water damage for the rest of our life. Can you suggest what can be done. There is a natural flow law, but the town of La Plata said they do not have to follow it.
“It’s a civil matter” means your only option to enforce your rights is to sue your neighbor. You should consult with a knowledgeable local real estate attorney, who will be able to tell you what your rights are and what options you have.
Fortunately, in most areas, ongoing trespasses on property — and that’s what this is, as your neighbor has caused water to trespass on your property — is an ongoing cause of action. What that means is that you still have the right to sue even after the house is sold. The new owners may be able to involve the flippers in the lawsuit, too.
Hopefully, a note from your attorney alerting them to this risk will get their attention, and get the problem resolved.