Damage to property caused by a neighbour

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Yellow excavator while cleaning backyard of industrial space.

IN this article we will analyse what happened to one of our clients due to problems suffered to his property as a result of excavations carried out by a neighbour.

It is relatively common for clearing, excavations or earthworks to be carried out and in most cases these aim to achieve the flattening of a plot in order to be able to build new or modify an existing property.

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This type of work especially when carried out on a property located on a slope can cause a modification to the natural configuration of the land and the removal of a slope can result in a landslide which could affect neighbouring plots.

In addition, such work can cause problems in the construction of neighbouring properties such as the appearance of cracks and in worst cases affect the structure and load bearing capacity or stability of the neighbouring constructions, which are often made worse during periods of heavy rain.

Should this happen and with regards to damage caused to neighbouring properties, which can be proved to have their origin in the movement of land, or excavations, then the neighbour who caused the problem will have an obligation to repair the damage caused.


This contention and understanding is based on what is known as the non-contractual liability of article 1902 of the civil code, which says that the person who by an action or omission causes harm to another, being faulty or negligent, is obliged to repair the damage caused.

In this regard, among many other court decisions, the court decision number 326/2016 of the Provincial Court of Tenerife, should be highlighted as it shows that:


The owner who alters the previous physical condition of the land, is the one who must prove to the judge that he has acted with careful and due diligence in order to avoid any damage or harm to neighbouring properties.

In the event that this is not the case and if the damage could have been avoided, it will be the person who made the excavation, earth movement, etc, who must compensate the other (or others) for the damages caused.

Therefore, if you or someone you know is in this situation due to a neighbour who has undertaken work to flatten their plot or modified its level, performed an excavation or created earthworks, etc and your property has been affected there is a remedy.

If your property has been damaged due to a landslide or any other type of problem with the property has arisen for which you are not legally responsible, be aware that you can claim for compensation against the neighbour for the damages caused.

If this is your case, and if you wish to receive legal advice from expert lawyers, contact us and we will advise you.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice; it simply transmits information related to legal issues.

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)  Email  carlosbaos@white-baos.com

C/Diana 19, 2º D, 03700 Denia (Alicante) Spain Tel. +34 966-426-185 Fax +34 965-784-471

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