Do I have any legal recourse for the flooding of my vehicle while it sat in my townhouse parking lot?

There was a sudden downpour of rain and the parking lot where we are required to park, flooded. My understanding from the neighbors, is that this occurs often. I was not home at the time, or I would have moved my vehicle. The drainage for this area does not look up to par. I do not see any drainage grates, just a pipe. What can I do? Who can I call?

Asked on September 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You do not have any recourse. There is no legal obligation requiring a parking lot to have drainage, so there is no liability incurred by not having it. Also, as you note, it was a sudden, and presumably hard, downpour: property owners, HOAs, etc. are not liable for damage caused by weather unless their construction was not code compliant or otherwise negligent (unreasonably careless), but in the absence of a duty to provide drainage for a parking lot, you would not be able to show this.

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