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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33802
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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I have a problem. My basement is flooded again right now

Customer Question

Good day:
I have a problem. My basement is flooded again right now January 17, 2016. This is the fifth time since December 23, 2015 that my basement has been flooded by the city's drain/sewer system and they have done nothing to improve the situation. I have lost in the thousands of dollars. what do i do?
Medika
Irvington, NJ
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Have you contacted the city regarding the problem?

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If so, what is their response?

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Does your insurance cover any damage each time?

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Have you had any professional examination to determine formally what the cause of the flooding is?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for your response.
I have contacted the public works department through the city's switchboard each time. They send a crew out to release their system and the water then drains out.
The insurance does not cover each time.
The city supervisor admitted that the city has a problem. Further, i have two neighbors who gets flooded too.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 10 months ago.

Ok, then this would clearly be considered a "private nuisance". A private nuisance is an interference with a person's enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.

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The city has no legal right to continue to damage your property through their negligence or their intentional failure to make changes to the drainage system.

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Unfortunately, this is something that is just too easy for them to ignore you on so you will have to talk to the other affected neighbors and then take some formal action. I would start with your local representatives or councilmembers, then take it up to the Mayor's office or any Ombudsman to see if you can get anyone to take your cause up.

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If that doesn't' work, then your recourse is to file a civil suit against the city for private nuisance and damage to your property. You might even consider getting together with the neighbors and having an attorney send a "demand letter" on all your behalf demanding that they fix the problem or you will all sue the city. Sometimes a letter from an attorney threatening to sue will "encourage" them to take action rather than being dragged into court to lose...

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thanks

Barrister

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