What to do regarding property damage caused by my builder’s contractor?

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What to do regarding property damage caused by my builder’s contractor?

I have a builder who just finished building next door to me. When they were putting in the sprinkler system, the sprinkler company the builder used ran a line approximately 16′ into my property and severely damaged my sprinkler line. The damage caused the system to not function and required repair. In short, my sprinkler company repaired the damage and has been trying to collect from the builder and his sprinkler company without success. Now I have received a bill for $210 since the work had to be done on my property. I’ve tried to get the builder and sprinkler company to do something and I have been unsuccessful. What recourse do I have to collect on the $210 debt for the property damage? Since the builder is selling the house, is he required to fix the issue with the existing line they ran crossing into my yard?

Asked on April 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The only way to recover would be to sue for the money. Sue the builder in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to minimize legal fees. If you get a judgment in your favor by proving to the court that he or his contractors caused the damage, the court will order him to pay. You may need someone from your own sprinkler company to testify in court (you can subpoena him/her if he/she will not appear voluntarily), if you can't settle the case once you have filed it (filing it may well cause them to settle, to avoid the time/cost of a lawsuit). You can get forms and instructions from your court.


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