What can I do if the owners of the property next door have a sprinkler system on a timer which sprays the side of my car leaving hard water spots which are expensive to have removed?

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What can I do if the owners of the property next door have a sprinkler system on a timer which sprays the side of my car leaving hard water spots which are expensive to have removed?

They have a landscaping company come once a week. I have asked them repeatedly to adjust the sprinkler, and they actually have, only making it worse. The owners themselves are very rude and never respond to phone calls; my neighbors are renters. What can I do? And can I recoup the costs of having the water spots removed numerous times?

Asked on June 22, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be able to sue them to recover the cost of removing the spots, since you have evidentaly put them on notice of the problem--hopefully, you have provided notice of the issue in writing, sent some way you can prove delivery, so that you could prove notice in court. If someone is aware of a problem which causes damage to another's property and, in full awareness of that, does nothing about it and allows the damage to happen, that is often considered negligent and can give rise to liability. Where you may have difficulty however, so you can't consider the case anything like a guaranteed win, is:

1) The courts are often loathe to essentially impose penalties for doing normal, everyday activities that are reasonable for their location--such as sprinkling.

2) If there is a reasonable way for you to avoid or mititage the issue--such as by parking in a different space which is also available to and convenient for you--the courts may consider that your own actions contributed to your losses, and reduce what you could get or even eliminate compensation for you entirely.

You won't know if you'd win until you sue and try, unfortunately. And a lawsuit would be the only way to recover money from them if they won't pay you voluntarily.


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