Flood damage to home from golf course

Asked October 10, 2015, 11:54 AM EDT

We live in Riverhills Community in Little River, SC. The 8th green is above us and constantly sends water to our backyard when it rains. Since we moved here in May of 2015 we have been after the course to put in a berm as well as a ditch or French drain to contain their water. They attempted to fix the drain issue by putting in one drain but it drains a bit uphill and emptied out on the golf course grit which just filled in the drain with the first rain. With the past heavy rains we had water flowing in through the back wall of our home which was into three rooms. We were running two wet vacs, and at times of heavy flow, couldn't keep up with the flow into our home! The golf course hasn't responded to any of our calls, txts or videos of the three rivers off their course into our home. fTo add insult to injury on Tuesday morning they drained the sand traps on 8 which drained directly into our backyard once more! Then they were then able to open the course for play! Do we have any recourse for them to pay for these damages? The sheetrock, insulation and rugs have to be replaced as well as some of the contents which is already molding dispite our best efforts to dry it out. Is there a law in SC stating they are responsible for their water?

Horry County South Carolina

1 Response

Your area has seen a terrible amount of rain this summer and fall. In most cases, a property owner is responsible for damage that may come from their actions to another persons property. They may claim that weather conditions were so extraordinary that they cannot be held responsible. Do you know if there is a history of problems with the runoff damaging what is now your property? How old is the house? Did previous home owner know about the problem? Did the realtor know about the problem? If the home was built after the golf course was completed and no real changes made to worsen the situation, they may be off the hook.

Since it is flood damage, your insurance company is probably taking a hands off approach. It will likely be your job to see what can be worked out with the golf course. That is always the best. But, you might need to talk to a lawyer before it is over.

Be sure you have done everything in your control to avoid problems. There are standards for drainage controls (landscaping) around a home that should be done to minimize problems that are uphill from you. This guide on basement construction shows a diagram on avoiding water problems. It is for a basement, but the ground slopes and drainage piping are good for all homes, basement or slab.

I hope this helps a bit.