Gutter Issue

Home Forums Real Estate Gutter Issue

Topic: Gutter Issue

Real Estate July 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Gutter Issue

I live in a Petworth rowhouse.
My neighbor literally has no gutters on their house except for a broad Yankee gutter on the front (with no top gutter feeding it).  Since the street slopes down towards my direction, that means that all of the water that lands on their roof winds up running into my yard.  It’s caused a little damage to the front porch, since anything that doesn’t go down in the Yankee gutter winds up sluicing down onto my railing.
Is this against code, or do I have other legal options to get them to put in a gutter?

7 Replies Add Reply

I don’t know about the legal issues, but could you convince your neighbor to look into one of the DC programs that help homeowners get rain barrels?   One program is a full audit, with suggestions on landscaping, etc, and some sort of cost sharing.  Another part is just a rebate on a storm barrel.  Some info on the water barrel rebate is here:  It might help the neighbor think s/he is doing something good for his/her house and also solve your water problem. 


I believe that DC code/regs (housing code) requires functioning gutters–I’d look but the site appears to be down right now.  OF course, getting DRCA to enforce it is another matter.


The person who operates the DCRA Twitter feed is actually pretty responsive, so I’d try there! I once had to ask something twice since I asked right before a weekend and my question got lost, I think, but s/he seems to reply pretty quickly to most inquiries.

I think dumping your water on your neighbors property is illegal in DC, but I don’t remember where I read that. It’s been more than 5 years since I looked into it.

I think, generally, you (a homeowner) are responsible for the water that lands on your property. You have teh responsibilty to ensure that it flows out/off your property appropriately. This means that gutters would be needed if the water otherwise is causing famage to a neighbor. (but if you lived on a private lot and weren’t causing any problems for others, they wouldn’t necessarily be needed.)
Small claims court is the last step, but i’d try DCRA first, as suggested. Of course, you could mention it to the owner first too.

I had no idea what a Yankee gutter was.  Looked it up and realize now that I have Yankee gutters!  And yes they are expensive to repair! 

Contact DCRA Building Inspector and the Soil Erosion unit of DCRA.  One or the other ought to enforce; you may not direct your storm water towards your neighbor nor discharge within three feet of public space.  Enforcement? depends on the inspector’s commitment.  Might contact  benny Kass- real estate attorney- for advise; but first talk with your neighbor explaining the concern and seek their help before hammering them,. 

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)


Reply to this topic

You must be logged in to reply to this discussion. or