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Can My Neighbour’s Yard Cause My Basement to Flood?

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Heavy rains that cause flooded yards, surface runoff and even leaking sprinkler systems from coming from you neighbour’s yard can cause your basement or crawlspace to flood.

Surface Water Runoff/Flooding

It happens from time to time, a neighbour changes their landscaping in some way or grades their property to where it slopes toward your home. Sometimes the homeowner hasn’t made any changes; heavy rains can cause erosion that can change the course of the water runoff. It is possible that your neighbour’s yard can make your yard flood and even flood your basement or crawlspace.

Sprinkler Systems

Contact your neighbour and let them know their sprinkler system is running overtime or causing your property to flood. Sprinklers are not considered to be weather related and the neighbor could be liable.

Downspout Extensions

This situation can typically be addressed by just asking your neighbor to redirect the downspout away from your property. Many times others do the work and the homeowner may not even be aware that the downspout is routed away from their yard and directly into yours. Sometimes the downspouts can even be routed out to street drainage.

Lower Homeowners Beware!

In the past, many court systems have treated heavy or excessive rainwater flooding as a common enemy and as kind of a homeowner beware situation. Homeowners were and are expected to protect their own property. This type of flooding is not due to any type of carelessness but if you are the homeowner living on the lower lot, you should prepare for these types of rains and protect your property through protecting your basement as well as diverting the water. Don’t wait until heavy rains cause a problem, if you know you’re home is lower ground, be prepared.

Due Diligence

If you know that your property is lower and is at risk for this type of drainage/flooding issue, there are some things you can do to be proactive. French drains around your home can help. If you have a garage that is lower level, you may want to consider installing some trench drainage just outside the garage door. Especially if your driveway slopes downs toward your garage door and home. Runoff from the street can also run down your driveway and right into your garage, leaving a huge mess.

We see all too frequently homeowners who spend hours sweeping out water or shop vacuuming it up as quickly as it comes in. A waterproofing contractor can help you address and repair this type of flooding. Here’s a tip for you, when the heavy rains come, lots of basements get flooded and we get typically get inundated with calls, the best time to call a waterproofing company is when it’s dry and sunny outside.


It isn’t just changes in your neighbour’s yard that can cause your yard and home to flood, changes you make can cause your home to flood when it never has before. Removal of a tree with a large root system or addition of shrubs and trees can change the way the drainage runs off. Homeowners sometimes all their gutters to clog with leaves and this changes how the water is routed away from the home. Instead of the water routing away through a downspout and away from the home, what happens is the gutters overflow in the areas where leaves have clogged them and pour straight down in that area. If you’ve ever walked under a clogged gutter, you’ll know exactly what we mean by the water pouring down!

Good Old Fashioned Communication

While it’s frustrating to have a leak in your home whether your basement floods, your crawlspace leaks or your garage has puddles in it, probably the best piece of advice is to let cooler heads prevail. Your neighbour isn’t intentionally trying to flood your home and may not even know there is an issue. As we said before, if you own the lower piece of property, it’s more likely to happen and your neighbour certainly is liable. Perhaps a combination of you making changes to your property and talking to your neighbor about redirecting his downspout extensions may solve your problem.

It’s always best to call a professional basement waterproofing company in Toronto to assess the situation, give an estimate and design a repair that works the best for your situation. There’s no greater feeling than to hear thunder, lightning and rain pouring outside and know your basement home is dry : )

Have a question about ongoing flooding in your basement? Do you suspect your neighbor’s property may be at cause? If you live in Toronto or the surrounding GTA, feel free to contact us for a free in-home inspection and estimate.

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