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The gutters collect rainwater that trickles from the roof. This water, they must then evacuate through downpipes. But when a building is located on the property line, how to install the gutters and how to eliminate rainwater without encroaching on the neighbor's land? And what happens to this water? What the law says?

Gutter that protrudes on the neighboring ground

Gutter that protrudes on the neighboring ground

Article 681 of the Civil Code and the flow of rainwater

Article 681 of the Civil Code is very clear: " Every owner must establish roofs in such a way that the rainwater flows on his ground or on the public road; he can not make them pay on the fund of his neighbor »
In practice the roofs and therefore the gutters must be designed so that rainwater flow on the land of the owner or possibly on public roads. You can not evacuate your stormwater on your neighbor's property.

The law is general and does not differentiate types of construction. It applies in the same way for a dwelling house as for a garage or a shed. And even your little garden shed of a few square meters is subject to it. You will have to arrange for the water to not fall at your neighbor's house and / or install a gutter in order to channel the rainwater to your land.

Sewer servitude roofs

In principle, your rainwater should not flow to your neighbor. Easy to say and to do when the building is at a respectable distance from neighboring funds. But what about when building on the property line?

Depending on the rooftop sewer easement that follows, from the application of article 681 of the Civil Code, you must imperatively install a gutter for retrieve this water and direct it to your own land. In addition this gutter should not exceed on the neighboring ground. If this is the case, your neighbor is entitled to ask you to modify your installation: the gutter in the first place, see the roof second.

On the other hand, if your neighbor has accepted that your roof or gutter is overhanging his land for 30 years in a continuous and apparent manner, allowing this situation without protest, he has allowed himself to create an overhanging easement (Article 690 of the Civil Code). on easements).

Application of Section 681 and Property Limitation Problem

In the case where the property boundaries are not established with certainty or if there is litigation concerning these, how to install the gutters?
In principle, the owner of the building is presumed to own the part of land under the roof ridge or under its gutter. If water falls at this point, your neighbor can not say anything.
On the other hand, if he can prove that this piece of land belongs to him, you will have to comply with section 681.

What to do if your neighbor's gutters overflow on your property?

As in all neighborhood disputes, always start with an amicable remedy.
Call your neighbor by explaining the problem.
If your words have no effect, send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. Do not hesitate to refer to article 681 of the Civil Code.
Moreover this mail taking date of your disagreement, you will avoid the risk of the bondage of overhang.
If the nuisance persists, involve a conciliator of justice. This service is free and you will find the list of conciliators in town hall. If you do not agree, you will have to go to court.
But you can also find a compromise by establishing a servitude of overhang not undergone but where the rights and duties of each are well determined.

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