Can I excavate dirt from my backyard to make it level?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can I excavate dirt from my backyard to make it level?

I just bought property in PA, a few years before I purchased the
property a land owner above said property dumped truckloads of dirt
without any permits to make a driveway. Most of that dirt is on the
property I just purchased. Can I excavate the dirt of of my property
if it causes the neighbor to lose his driveway? I want a level
backyard. As far as I am concerned, he should of built a wall on his
property first and then filled his land.

Asked on October 27, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can: you are under no obligation to limit your use of your land (e.g. have large piles or spillover of dirt) to accommodate your neighbor. You can remove the dirt from your property even if that requires your neighbor to build a retaining wall on his own to put a driveway there. Your property is your property, not his.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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