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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116709
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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My neighbor above my home want to change the landscape

Customer Question

Dear Madam
My neighbor above my home want to change the landscape of his land by leveling the land.
He plan to employ a French Drainage with a retaining wall about four feet high.
1. What city or building code and regulation is required?
2. What permits are require before starts?
3. How many feet from his boundary line should he begin to dig the foundation for the wall?
All of the construction will be done on my property.
4. What city department can I go for further information?
5. For thirty years my home or his home never experience and drainage problems.
However, he wants to build a French drainage in order change and level the landscape.
6. Your cooperation and time in this matter I appreciate for rendering this service.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Each city or county has their own building ordinance about grading of land, but all of them require the party grading their land to obtain a permit and submit a survey and plans for the grading and French drain. They all require a civil engineer report and the approval of the building/planning commission and supervision by them with a building permit.
He will require a building permit, which will mean the building inspector and someone from department of environmental quality will have to make a site inspection.
Again, the setbacks where construction must be back from your property are set by your local building ordinances, not the Texas law and the building inspector when coming out to give the permit would be the one who has to determine if it complies with the local setback requirements for your area.
You need to go to your building and planning commission about this situation.
Texas uses the common law rule about diverting or changing flow of water from your land to another person's land and it says that if your neighbor is changing the natural flow of water from his land to your land, that he is liable for protecting your property from damage from that changed water flow.