Should I grant an Easement?

Page 1 of 2  
A neighbor is wanting an easement for sewer and water access for a lot he purchased. Due to our topography, his lot does not have access to city sewer and water service, and my lot is the only way to feasibly get it. (City won't approve a septic system for him.)
My question: Should I expect to be paid by him for granting an easement? I know that he would be responsible for the cost of running the pipes, restoring my yard, etc., but it seems that I should also be entitled to some additional compensation for the trouble.
The way I figure, he is going to have to trench about 300 feet along my yard to reach the street and utilities. (I have about a 2 acre lot.)
Thanks for the advice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I
some
yard
Well, Im not a lawyer, but my brother is, and this is the sorta thing we often discuss over a few beers when we visit with each other.
Generally, the law provides for him to seek an easment under court order, and lacking other reasonably practical or economical means to get utilities to his place he will likely eventually win.
And at that point both of you will have probly have spent a great deal of $$$ on attorney's fees........
My first thought would be to offer to sell him an easment at what you would consider to be the hassle costs on your end of the deal......
Still, even this would best be done with the services of an attorney, as it should properly be included in the respective revised property descriptions and deeds.......
So I would suggest you both should work together and come up with a plan, then split attorney costs 50/50--your share coming outa the kitty he is willing to pay for said easement.
Dont take my word on this as gospel any more than you would take your dog groomer or butchers thoughts as being the last word.....
....BUT.....
If I wanted quality hvac work, my brother certainly aint the guy I would go to and pay to have do it...
====== Or, just go on ahead and let the neighbor do it, this is probly what I would do.......what the hell.......no good deed ever goes unpunished, no ???
--
SVL





Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree with "PM", in that you should allow him the easement gratis. As long as he cleans up after himself, of course! Tom Work at your leisure!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Curious, though - - apparently he *bought* property which would make it necessary to run lines through others' property in order to build on it. Legally, how much weight would that self-imposed fait accompli have?
Banty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Banty wrote:

A couple of other thoughts: Because the property could not have the services required for building a house, he got it at a steal. Now he gets an easement from a neighbor for those services. This increases the value of the property considerably. He can then just sell the property at its now increased value, pocketing a nice profit, or build a POS basic house on spec and realize a greater profit. He may never intend to be a neighbor at all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

True - see my other post.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Or possibly, hasn't bought it yet, unless he finds out wether or not he can even get an easement. See my other post.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oscar_Lives wrote:

About the only thing that you should charge him are any costs that YOU may incur as far as deed revision costs and perhaps a refundable deposit to be held in escrow until he completes restoration of your property.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'd get an attorney. There might be future problems that you can't anticipate and a legal contract between you and the neighbor might protect you. What happens if your neighbor moves. Your verbal agreement may not extend to a new owner. It's easier to CYA now then in the future.

he
easement? I

some
yard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you have a mortgage, the mortgage company has got to be told and may not like the idea.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

he
easement? I

some
yard
But be sure that the location of his pipes will not unduly restrict your future use of your property.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
this is a karma issue. unless you have a specific reason NOT to grant the easement, grant it. dont try and profit. let them pay all fees associated with the change, INCLUDING the cost of your lawyer. if you dont, i hope someday it comes back to bite you on the ass and you have an unusable piece of property without laying 10 miles of pipe.
and as someone else mentioned, if you have a mortgage, the bank will want to know whats going on.
randy

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This depends entirely on things we don't know. Where on the property will the easement go? Does it in any way diminish the use of the property, ie would it prevent you from putting up a future garage, addition, landscaping, trees, etc? Keep in mind that the easement has to be accessable for future repair/replacement if necessary. That means the area close to the easement isn't the best place for specimen trees, etc.
The way I look at it, there is a range of possible fair solutions. At one end, if you know the guy, like him and the impact to your property is minimal, then I'd do it with him paying all the legal and associated costs. At the other, if he bought the property cheap because it has no access, you don't know him, and the impact will reduce the utility of your land, I'd want him to pay the legal fees plus compensate me a decent amount.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oscar_Lives wrote:

How does the neighbor get onto his property? How is it zoned? 300' through your yard? Who maintains or repairs the sewer line if it backs up and floods your yard? Is he going to build an apartment building? Where does his lot drain if he builds on it? How large is his property? If you give him the easement, it likely has value, as it would likely increase the value of his lot. What next? If you grant the easement, it precludes you from using that strip, such as for an addition, structure, etc., I believe. What is with the "topography"? I think I would want an attorney to look at it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oscar_Lives wrote:

Generally I would say yes, but I do have a few suggestions - comments.
It may lower your property value slightly. As a buyer, I would rather buy a lot without an easement for reasons noted below. See if you can get an estimate.
You may have some restrictions on future activities. For example you may not be allowed to plant trees or build (maybe a shed or garage) over that area.
You may have problems in the future if maintenance is needed. This could be a big problem if a access drive has been added over the easement.
You will be bothered while they do the work and during the time the landscaping recovers.
All that said, I would say you should grant it and expect some sort of compensation for the cost to you now and future. You legal rights may differ from location to location so for an answer to that part, contact a local lawyer.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Been a really long time since sitting in `business law classes that touched on real property & land easements. just some thoughts... i dunno; Might just work with him to plumb it with no easement, no legalese. then you'll have no restrictions & a friendly neighbor bank shouldn't care as they generally don't finance the land.
When he sells it someday should the buyer desires an official easement - that's where you might profit if you want to be greedy. ... Problem with any easement is it can result in undesirable future use and problems... like when it leaks or clogs and needs a hole dug.. or some owner suddenly putting a driveway right over his easement, a dirt road through your yard - other neighbor says he can no longer drive across their property for access to his property because his easement is over there - court would say `yep, that's the legal right of way. Who cuts and maintains the grass over his easement ;)

I
some
yard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bumtracks wrote:

That logic sounds good, but it does not hold up in every jurisdiction. I once had a 100+ year old home. It had been built in the then back yard of the home behind me. When built they just ran the sewer under the old home and connected it to the main.
When a new owner of that house decided to add a garage, the contractor just broke out my sewer when he put in the foundation. The end result was I had squatters rights and the owner and his contractor had to foot the bill for my new sewer line.
It was funny at the time. The contractor came to my door and told me I could not use any water since it would fill his ditch. He was just going to cap it off and wanted me to wait until the cement cured before I used any water. Needless to say I did not agree, neither did the owner who was rather sorry he had such a fine contractor. The county had no record of my home let alone the sewer line, so I helped them draw in the new (over 100 year new) property split and where the sewer had gone. As it turned out my new sewer went out a different direction to a sanitary sewer that was not even there 100 years ago when they used combined sewers. The work on the garage stopped after the patched my sewer until the new tap was put in.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Describe 'feasibly'.

He should have thought of that...and probably did...when he bought the property.

Get an attorney. I wouldn't give him an easement. If I HAD to, I'd sell him the land. You might as well anyway. You won't be able to do anything with it in the future. You certainly won't be able to build or plant over his lines.
Get an attorney.

Do you want the money? Or do you want peace of mind?...and control of your property? You can't have both.

Unless your property completely surrounds his property, this must be at least one other free side where he can bring in the lines. Have him use THAT side.
Good luck.
Have a nice one...
Trent
Budweiser: Helping ugly people have sex since 1876!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload



Not to belabor the points of the other posters too much, but to bring them together...
A lot depends on individual details. Like, where is the trench going to have to go? Can it be routed just inside your property line etc?
Is it going to interfere with your potential plans?
The "Neighborhood Karma" factor is _really_ important too.
If it were me, I'd ask to see exactly where it'd go, and then consult with township staff and possibly with a value assessor to see what your options are, how much it might impact your property value etc.
Ultimately leading to a contract between you and your neighbor making him pay all costs (construction, legal, whatever), including future repairs, with the non-performance penalty being disconnection.
Unless it was going to do something drastic to property values, "Neighborhood Karma" suggests that you only ask for $1 compensation over and above costs to make the contract binding.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

An easement is never a good thing when it is on YOUR property.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.