Who is responsible for stormwater issues?
Stormwater from adjoining land is regulated under the Water Act 1989. Under this law, the property owner is responsible for ensuring they don't cause nuisance to neighbouring or adjoining properties.
Problems with water flow between neighbouring properties are generally a civil matter to be resolved between property owners.
If you own a property, you are responsible for ensuring that water from roofs, paving and paths are collected by pipes directed to the legal point of discharge.
If you have water on your property from a neighbouring property, it's a civil matter between you and your neighbour.
This applies to stormwater that comes from an adjoining property from:
- building works
- garages and carports
- rainwater tanks
- paving, paths or landscaping works
If your neighbour's downpipes or guttering are damaged or missing or if they have not connected the overflow of a rainwater tank to an underground stormwater system, check with your neighbour to discuss the issue/s.
Council can investigate and request that any damaged or disconnected stormwater systems are restored. However, as this is a civil matter where the property owners need to find an amicable solution.
If the matter cannot be resolved or if you cannot reach an agreement with your neighbour, you will need to contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria or get legal advice from a solicitor.
A builder is responsible for managing stormwater runoff on a building site during construction works.
If you believe that the builder has not managed the stormwater runoff appropriately, contact the builder or building surveyor during the construction stage.
If water is coming onto your property from what appears to be illegal building works or an illegal structure on another property, report it to Council’s building department on (03) 5398 0110.
Visit the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal (VCAT) website on stormwater drainage between adjoining properties: www.vcat.vic.gov.au/case-types/unreasonable-flow-of-water-between-properties
Contact the owner of the other property or contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria or get legal advice from a solicitor.