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Water diverted onto our property from an association road

Discussion in 'Easements & Right of Way Law' started by Gayled, Oct 14, 2022.

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  1. Gayled

    Gayled Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Maine
    Our association which is located on Sebago Lake maintains the roads (easement) and ditches (used to divert rain water from going directly into the lake). We own 14 acres of vacant land on the top part of the road leading to the lake. The "associations road committee" put in some turnouts from the road to divert water running down the road away from the lake right onto our property. We are planning to build on this property in the near future.
    My question is:
    1. Is it legal to divert water onto someone's property with out their approval?
    2. Can we ask them to undo what they have done?

    Thank you,
    Gayle D.
     
  2. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Title 17, §2808: Alteration of surface water flow

    §2808. Alteration of surface water flow
    Unreasonable use of land that results in altered flow of surface water that unreasonably injures another's land or that unreasonably interferes with the reasonable use of another's land is a nuisance. [PL 2005, c. 564, §1 (NEW); PL 2005, c. 564, §3 (AFF).]
    An action under this section must be commenced within 3 years after the cause of action accrues. [PL 2005, c. 564, §1 (NEW); PL 2005, c. 564, §3 (AFF).]
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    What sort of association? Homeowners' association? Are you a member of this association by virtue of your ownership of the property you mentioned?

    Depends on what the association's governing documents (including anything you have signed) say.

    Of course you can. Were you thinking that there might be a legal prohibition against asking?
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Apparently not.

    Sure, you can ask.

    But I think your real question is can you successfully compel them to undo what they have done.

    Might take a lawsuit to get there.
     
  5. Gayled

    Gayled Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It is a Homeowners Association.
     
  6. Gayled

    Gayled Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We are members, we own an house on a different piece of property.
     
  7. OldSurveyor

    OldSurveyor Member

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    I guess that I would start this off on a low key.... maybe an e-mail to the HOA if they have an e-mail address or to the president of the HOA stating just what you have said here with the question(s) posted here.

    You might get a favorable reply, an unfavorable reply, or no reply at all. As you apparently live in an unincorporated area, you have no local recourse apparently other than the HOA.

    So let's see what kind of a reply you get. It is somewhat unusual that an HOA would have some sort of a blanket easement on your property, or something in the nature of a license in your agreement (CCR's) for this sort of mischief. I would only add from personal experience on my own property, being overflowed improperly, that a letter and photographs of the overflows to the neighbor resolved the problem.

    A previous poster has done a service in pointing out your protections under your state law for unreasonable direction of un-natural water flow.

    Your protection may also extend beyond your legislated state law. Any reduction of the value of your property per a certified appraisal due to flooding not otherwise allowed, might be seen by a court as a compensable damage.

    Board of Real Estate Appraisers | Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation

    Good Luck!
     
    justblue likes this.

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