I would be getting a hold of an attorney. Easements are forever. The
utilities get them cause of public good. Private well I do not know. Your
state should have some guide lines and what ever you pay the attorney is
money spent for piece of mind. You need to worry about the effect of the
easement when you sell the place.
Then go sit down and be an informed gentleman.
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
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The advice you will get in this forum is hardly reliable. No one knows
the credentials of the posters, and from what I have read, many are
I would suspect that, if it went to litigation, your neighbor would be
likely to win, but you would both run up very substantial legal fees,
and all you would receive would be the amount by which your property
value will be lessened by the easement, and you would have to hire
expert witnesses to establish that. However, this type of law varies
from state to state, and no one here even knows where you live.
My suggestion would be that you see a local lawyer and let him cut the
deal for you. He will know what costs will be involved (you will almost
certainly need a new survey and some legal documents filed), and you and
he can discuss whether your property value will be diminished, and by
how much. Then have him cut a deal that includes the neighbor paying
all costs, including your attorney's fees.
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
Since it will lower the value of your property, I would set something up
where he has to pay you a yearly fee for the use of your property. This
should counteract the drop in your property value.
Also easements are *not* 5 ft. wide! They are more likely 25 ft. wide even
though only a small portion is used. The entire width of the easment must
be accessable to equipment to maintain the pipeline at all times. Thus you
can't build any buildings, etc. on any portion of the easement!
I would place the easement on the edge of your property. Also find out what
electric utilities pay land owners yearly to run lines through their
If his lot is landlocked, he bought it cheap. Or he sub-divided sometime in the
past and now want's to increase the value, substantially, of a lot which had
little value before.
If you're granting of this easement turns a valueless lot into a buildable lot,
find out the value of a buildable lot vice an non buildible lot and charge this
neighbor the difference, plus all of your associated costs, plus your loss of
use of land which you formally owned but will not entirely control anymore, but
will probably still maintain.
IMNBHO, yes, you "should" grant an easement and yes, you "should" get paid
for it. The easement should be REAL clear as to who is responsible for this
sewer line and that if trees planted subsequently grow into it, or driveway
or future construction causes problems with it, it is HIS problem, not
yours. How much? well he pays all legal to draw up easement agreement.
and gives you the going rate per square foot for unimproved land in your
area - which he knows since he just bought some.
Being a good neighbor is not the same as being a sucker. I would be
very reluctant to give up, permanently, any right to property that I
own. If the owner of the other property is a speculator (which I've had
unhappy experience with), he has no concern with detriment to the
neighborhood or residents. He will make his money and run.
I had a similar experience. I have a lot 125' wide, and next door was a 50' lot
which was unbuildable in my municipality. Lots must be 75' or better street
frontage to build.
The owner of this lot tried to sell me this lot 4 times between 1981 and 1992,
and also to the 3 neighbors on the other side who've come and gone since 1981.
In '92 I had occasion to look up the lot owner as someone had dumped a load of
junk and asphalt on the vacant lot and I wanted it cleaned up. As it happens,
when I got home with the owner's address and phone number, a gentleman was
parked IFO my house, wanting to purchase 25' of my side yard abutting this 50'
lot. He *said* he was the owner and wants to build *his* home in a similar
fashion to mine, only smaller, but not so small as to only fit on the existing
(But just having been to town hall, unless he closed on the property that day,
I knew that not to be true, and found out it wasn't)
To make a long story short - his plan was to convince me to sell 25' of my land
so he could build and live in a decent size home suitable for the neighborhood,
or else he'll build a home nobody would like and I'll forever have to live next
to a dinky cottage.
Well, this is how speculators work my friend. They lie. He did not buy or own
the land, he was testing the waters. He lived in an exclusive waterfront
community nearby. He could not build on the 50' lot anyway, w/o a variance -
unattainable when 2 property owners abutting the property object (which we
would) only the original owner could build IF the ownership pre-dates zoning
laws, which it didn't.
In the end, I purchased the lot myself for 8000.00, added my extra 25' and
built my own investment home. Not because I wanted to, but because If I didn't,
some greedy speculator would figure out a way.
And what if you want to plant a tree or two? or place a driveway to a "new
garage" in the back. And years down the road, the roots damage the sewer
pipe, and you'll be in court to see who is going to pay roto-rooter guy or
replace pipes. Plan on never expanding onto the land which has the sewer and
water. Because someone will eventually complain about the inconvenience.
In my neighborhood, the lots are about 50ft.wide. Houses are 10 ft apart. As
in my case, both the neighbors have their driveways on opposite sides of the
house from me. That leaves me without driveway access to the back yard. A
few doors down, the same problem applies to another. He worked with person
next to him and was able to get a concrete driveway laid that goes right up
against both houses. Sure hope he doesn't make a drive thru of the
house!!Now the neighbor moves out, and the other dies from cancer. Houses
are sold off. Unfortunately, couldn't tell you how well the new owners feel
about the drive now.
Else, sell the property he needs at a fair market value.
By "neighbor" you mean someone who already lives rather close to you?
Because he obviously doesn't live on this lot just purchased. If he is
already in the neighborhood, then he certainly knew, or should have
known, well before his purchase that water and sewer are a problem for
this lot. All of which makes me wonder if he grabbed the lot at a very
low price, thinking he could talk you into this easement, thereby
greatly enhancing his purchase. There's no question he will greatly
benefit from the easement; I guess I would want a piece of that
benefit, particularly if he is building a house on the new property
with the intention of reselling it.
Being a homeowner that has had to do with easement issues in the past,
my very strong advice is not to grant an easement, for any reason,
whether you are compensated or not. I can't emphasize this strongly
Anything that reduces your sovereignty over the property you purchased
is just asking for trouble in unexpected and unforeseen ways.
So, draw up a contract where:
1. There is a specific start and end date for the work.
2. Specify a per diem charge of XX dollars (100 is usually pretty good
incentive) for each day the work extends past the end date, payable in
full to you, by the homeowner, at the finish of work.
3. You will be made whole for any damage the work does to your
property. Specify that the quality of work must leave the land in the
same condition that before the work was begun.
4. You are not responsible for any costs arising from Item 3 above in
the case where the land was left in 'better than original' condition.
You know what I find interesting about this and similar threads?
Someone asks an open ended question, giving hardly any info to base
advice on and then disappears. There are probably 20 posts here so
far, with all kinds of good questions raised and only the original was
from the person who started the whole thing and presumably has the
Others have addressed the easement proper. I would be concerned about
possible liability for anyone on your property; the neighbor,
inspectors, construction workers, meter readers, etc. Both during the
initial construction and subsequent repairs.
I would not be content with anything less than a liability policy that
names you as an additional insured. It would really suck to lose your
home in a lawsuit because you helped someone out.
On 15 Oct 2004 02:19:35 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (HA HA Budys Here)
I was thinking that and it brings up an interesting question. One that
maybe should be asked on a legal group but what the heck, we're not
short of opinions here.:)
Suppose the one seeking an easement has Super-Lawyer on retainer but
hasn't discussed this matter. Our OP visits S-L for advice on this
situation; lays out his strategy and then informs S-L who his
Can Super-Lawyer represent either one? If so, which one?
If that were to occur, it would be unethical for SL to then represent
either client on the easement issue. What would be really funny would
be to get a free initial consultation. Many lawyers offer this and it
would certainly be funny if he gave you one before he was contacted by
his client. Or he might even have been contacted, but not make the
connection until after you told him too much.
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