What are my rights if I have a large sinkhole in my yard due to a run off of water from my neighbors yard?

A geo engineer (PE) came out to verify this and we have a report he prepared substantiating fault and remedy. We gave this to the neighbor with best intentions of working this out. My neighbor refuses to accept the accuracy of the report and claims he hired a civil engineer to make his own survey of the property. Then 3 weeks later no such report has materialized and he keeps saying he’s waiting. What should my next step? Our property repairs are estimated under 2 k , however the engineer has advised making no repairs on our property until the neighbor makes the recommended repairs to stop the runoff so the damage ceases.

Asked on April 23, 2014 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your neighbor for nuisance.  Nuisance is a serious and unreasonable interference with your use and enjoyment of your property.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the permanent diminution in value of your property.

If this is an ongoing matter, damages are inadequate and you should pursue an injunction to stop the runoff to prevent multiplicity of lawsuits.  Also, since land is unique, damages are inadequate and an injunction would be the appropriate remedy.

The court may issue a temporary restraining order followed by a preliminary injunction against your neighbor which will be in  effect until trial when a permanent injunction may be granted by the court.

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