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  1. #1

    Default Who is Responsible for a Faulty Pipe Installed in a Shared Drainage

    My question involves an issue in Orange county, California. We moved into our house in 2013, our neighbor bought the house next door in 2015 and did some major remodeling work on his house. Around 2015-2016, we started experiencing sewer backup problem. We try to unclog and replace our pipe but it didn't help. Last week we had a contractor run the camera and marked the clog spot on the neighbor's driveway. He gave us permission to dig up and repair. When the contractor opened the pipe, he found a 4" liner pipe from the neighbor's house running pass the 6"shared pipe and block our drain access. We called the owner but he refused to come and observe the problem. He kept repeating that he didn't put the pipe their. The contractor proceedef to document with photos and removed the faulty pipe so we could resume access to the drain.
    Should we ask the neighbor to share the cost of removing the faulty pipe? If he refuses (most likely since he's been avoiding to talk about it), what are our options to recover the cost?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    7,056

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for a Faulty Pipe Installed in a Shared Drainage

    Quote Quoting minhnghitran
    View Post
    When the contractor opened the pipe, he found a 4" liner pipe from the neighbor's house running pass the 6"shared pipe and block our drain access.
    Should we ask the neighbor to share the cost of removing the faulty pipe? If he refuses (most likely since he's been avoiding to talk about it), what are our options to recover the cost?
    I'm not sure what your description of the problem was but you can surely ask the neighbor to share the cost to fix it. And if they say that they didn't cause the problem (they didn't install the 4" pipe), it was the predecessor that caused it so it's still their responsibility to fix it.

    Just remember that to sue someone cost money (sometimes a lot of money) and depending on how much this repair cost, you have to decide if it is worth the money and the time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    750

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for a Faulty Pipe Installed in a Shared Drainage

    It does not cost a lot of money to sue someone in small claims court. A couple hundred bucks...if it even went that far.

    My suggestion being a contractor right down the street from you in Long Beach who has sued three times in small claims court is to take photos that clearly show the sleeve blocking your drain. Deliver the photos, your invoice and a demand letter by certified mail/signature required to the owner. Let him know what evidence you would be bringing into the courtroom and that you mean business. Provide the phone number of your plumber so he can validate the work performed and the cause of the blockage. Let him know that you will sue if he does not help pay the bill. That alone will likely make him come out of hiding.

    People like to hide their heads in the sand until you show you mean business. Unfortunately, most people do not have what it takes to sue someone, which causes more folks like him to ignore these type of problems.

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