Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Neighbor Wants a Sewer Line Easement and Contribution to Installation Costs

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: New York (Upstate)

    Neighbor owns serval parcels plus his current house which are all adjacent to my property and is proposing to get hooked up to the town’s sewer line that is located further up the street.

    We are all currently on a septic system, mine being the youngest as my house was built fairly recently (~10 years) and it is fully functional and healthy. His septic system is a much older (closer to ~30 years) but he doesn’t have any issues with it as far as I know. He is interested in developing several houses on those empty parcels I’ve mentioned earlier and sell them as homes with town sewer system (vs septic).

    Now the situation is; in order for his house and his future developments to be connected to the sewer line, he must have the line run all the way down the street through my property into his property and his future homes. This means that I would have to provide an easement to the town for the line that goes through my property.

    The issue is this: He had put together the entire plan and is now asking us and another one of our neighbors for money. Something between $5-10K each…
    The other neighbor pretty much said something along the lines of: Eff this, I don’t have any money for any of this at the moment, keep me out of this and put a cap on the pipe that would lead to my house so at a later date, when I get money, I would pay to connect.

    For my case, although I understand the benefits of being connected to a sewer line vs septic, I also didn’t ask for any of this, and unlike my other neighbor who said “eff this” I would also need to give a portion of my property to get this done for the neighbor who wish to build houses and sell them for profit as part of his business.

    So the bottom line here, you can clearly see the leverage I have here in order for him to get this project started, as going through my property to get to the rest of his parcels is a prerequisite. And no, there is NO other way around it, we looked!
    So that being said, there is no way in hell I’m paying that much for this project that would primarily benefit his interests. And YES, I understand that being hooked to the town sewer has its benefits but I don’t feel like it’s fair for me to pay this “equal” $ towards this project when I’m the only one in the block giving away part of their property in a form of an easement to the town to get this done.

    What are my options here? I want to be fair and avoid causing any bad blood between neighbors but also protect my interest. My septic system is fully functional! Should I pay nothing, grant the easement and ask for a capped line? Is it reasonable to ask him to pay for my hookup fees as a monetary compensation for the easement that I’m giving away (which no other neighbor has to do)?

    Options\advise\recommendation are all welcome. I’d love to hear what you guys\gals think.

    Some helpful Info that might help with you response:
    No, I am NOT required at the moment to provide an easement by the town or anyone else for that matter. He is fully capable of installing septic systems in the newly developed homes. There are no ordinance by the town that prohibit septic systems. It is a matter of negotiation at this point.
    No, the argument of “you will increase the value of your home” is invalid to me as I don’t plan to sell my house ANYTIME soon and besides, our house is located in a very good location and is also within one of the best school districts in the area. People have approached us with offers and it’s not even on the market. Having septic vs. town sewer doesn’t seem to stop people nor it is becoming a “deal breaker”.
    And No, there is no other way for him to get the line to his property, well I shouldn't say none-at all, I guess he could go half a mile around the hill and get a line from there but that would probably cost him half a million dollars.

    Thanks!!!
    Remm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,292

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    As long as you have a well-operating septic, there's no advantage whatsoever to being on a municipal system. It will just cost you money.

    Frankly, he's daft. He should be paying you for the easement not expecting you to contribute to his development. If he succeeds in getting the easement (either through your property or another way), you likely can be forced to hook up at your expense. If he pursues this, you probably will want to discuss this with a local real estate lawyers. There are times in some jurisdiction when you can be forced to give up the easment, and we don't know enough about your local area to give you a read on this (but the lawyer should know).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,349

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    As FI says he should be paying you for the easment. And after the city takes it over you will likely be able to tie in for now cost other than hooking up to the line he pays to put in your yard.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    I know nothing legal--let me start with that...

    About 20 years ago , one of our new-ish (at the time) neighbors decided to stop using their septic and go to the town sewer line, they needed to go through another neighbor's yard to do it. Neighbor 2 was fine with it, friendly neighbor attitude and all that, I don't know what they did with the legal end of it.

    Fast forward to last week, when Neighbor 1 had a back up in their house, they needed to dig up the entirety of the pipe across their half-acre property. Luckily they found the issue just before having to dig up Neighbor 2's property again.

    They had been talking about the possibility of needing to dig up Neighbor 2's property, and Neighbor 1 is no longer on everyone's good neighbor list so it might have not gone as smoothly as the initial installation.

    So wanting to be neighborly now might or might not be to your advantage in the future. I've seen it where once someone develops properties and sells them, they move--either up, to another area to develop or to a happy retirement location. That will leave you with all the new houses plus possibly a new next door neighbor and the responsibility for housing their sewer line.


    1. How much additional value will each new house have with a sewer line over a septic tank?

    2. How much will it devalue your property for resale to host that pipe and easement?

    Even if you never have plans of selling--it still matters. There's also nothing stopping your house from getting hooked up to the to the system in the future, so it won't really increase the value in some magical way that you can't do on your own, in my opinion.

    I'm thinking those two points are where I'd be starting to come up with a fee in an agreement to provide that access though my yard, if I decided to participate.

    Asking you to fork over any cash to this effort makes me think he's not as good a neighbor as he could be--I'd say the bad blood has started and you shouldn't be so polite as to hurt your own self interest, as he asserts his/his business' interests.

    Have you called the town to see if he could force this upon you, as flyingron mentioned? Just in case...

    Plus, how will it effect your ability to use your land--building placement for sheds, fencing, etc., will change your insurance, liability for on-site workers during installation/repairs....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    If you are on muni sewer how much extra does it cost? Ours is more than the water usage part of the bill.

    IMO your neighbor needs to pay you for the easement, hook-up, plus some additional cash since your water/sewer bill could more than double if you hook up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    Quote Quoting Remm
    View Post
    Now the situation is; in order for his house and his future developments to be connected to the sewer line, he must have the line run all the way down the street through my property into his property and his future homes. This means that I would have to provide an easement to the town for the line that goes through my property.
    Why would you have to grant an easement when there is likely already an easement for the public ROW (the road) that runs along your property? Are you sure he isn't just looking for contributions on the cost of the main because it benefits your property?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    @flyingron
    Thanks for your reply! I run into that debate often with folks regarding which system (septic vs sewer) is more beneficial, advantageous, costly, etc… There are many variables that play a role in this sort of discussion where each would pertain to a specific situations. I can’t speak for others, but in my case, I agree with you. There isn’t such a significant benefit of moving to a Sewer system. It doesn’t affect the value of my house nor provide any financial gain. The only thing I would say, is if I ever wanted to install a pool in the backyard, I wouldn’t be able to do so at the moment because of the leech field.
    As far as the easement goes, I think I will eventually discuss this with an attorney that is familiar with my area to better determine the best way to handle this.

    @PayrolGuy
    That’s what the other neighbor is pretty much doing minus the easement part. He’s simply not paying for any of the main line installation and is probably waiting until everything is setup, where the town takes over the line, and then he gets hooked up by paying whatever fee is required for the hookup.
    In my case, I have the easement through my property as a prerequisite component for any of this to even take place so I want to protect my interests here as best as I could. Thanks for your reply!

    @SubjacentSupport
    Yes, that is exactly one of my concerns. It’s difficult to tell and predict what different neighbors will do when the shit hits the fan (literally, lol). As I said to my response to flyingron, I would have to consult with an attorney and find out the answers to those 2 questions you’ve written and what can be forced on me down the line. Your point about him already being a not-so-good neighbor is shared among others who I have discussed this with as well. He has poorly asserted his business interests in the past with the other neighbor about something else, so this guy clearly doesn’t seem to care much about “bad blood”...it’s more like “what can I get out of my neighbors” kind of thing for him \-:
    Also, as far as I know, when giving an easement (which will be the front portion of my property), I can no longer build anything permanent on it. That includes certain types of fences, buildings, sheds, and in some cases, some trees as well. So essentially, it would place some restrictions on that portion of my land to be able to do certain things. Thanks for sharing your story and replying!

    @bcr229
    The cost will probably resemble yours based on the town’s website (which is definitely more than the water usage/cost). Again, financially speaking, it would cost more than the current maintenance I pay for my well-maintained and operating septic (which is barely ~$200 for pump-out every 3 years or so). A part of me wants to ask for payment for the easement, hook-up, plus some additional cash, but I really don’t want to start\create disgruntled neighbor that would become a pain in the ass for every little thing...Honestly, I would be fine if he pays for the easement and hookup but in reality his mind is so on the other end of things, and is completely disconnected from reality (hence why he even thinks it’s okay to ask for money AND an easement…lol). Nothing has been agreed on yet, as I still need to gather data and consult with an attorney, etc. I just wanted to check here for a general idea of what people see and think is fair. Thank you for your reply! I appreciate it!

    @oldfartWbeard
    The lines would be turned to the Town’s ownership as soon as the installation is done. So if there is an issue with the line, I will be dealing with the town, not the neighbor. Not sure about repair cost for the easement line and the details with that – that’s a good point, thanks! I’ll have to bring it up with the attorney when it is time. As far as I know, there are no triggers to require us all to do anything at the moment. This plan was proposed by my “developer neighbor” and the town pretty much told him something along the lines of: “well, fine, get the approval from all your neighbors that would like to have this and get the easement you need from that neighbor’s property which you need to get to your properties (that would be me) and pay for all the infrastructure and then, once it’s all completed and inspected, we (the town) will take over it.”
    I was told by the town that even after the lines are installed, there will be no immediate forcing for hookups. And even if there was, they give up to ~5 years to do it so you don’t have to do it right away…
    Thank you for your reply! I appreciate it!

    @budwad
    This is a good point which I have asked. The thing is, he can use the public ROW for the line all the way up-to my property line, where at that point, there are other merging utility lines that are being used and there is no more space (by code) to continue the line to his property on the ROW. Therefore, the only way to continue the line is to cut through my front property into his and all his parcels. Trust me, I don’t want to have a sewer pipe in my front lawn as well. If there was an option for me to cough up some $ for this project where there are NO lines going through my property, I wouldn’t mind it as much. But I’ve asked this and there is no other feasible way.
    But yes, I do believe that his primary driving force for requesting contribution on the cost of the main, is stemming from his feelings that it will benefit my property as well. The question here: Does it? Really? Or does it benefit his other future properties and is merely spinning it as an opportunity that "will benefit us all" sort of thing?
    Thank you for your reply! I appreciate it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    Quote Quoting Remm
    View Post
    I do believe that his primary driving force for requesting contribution on the cost of the main, is stemming from his feelings that it will benefit my property as well. The question here: Does it? Really? Or does it benefit his other future properties and is merely spinning it as an opportunity that "will benefit us all" sort of thing?
    Thank you for your reply! I appreciate it!
    I have been the chair of 5 boards of special assessment for my town over the years for water main and sewer service projects. If sewer service is made available to a property that didn't have it, then yes, it benefits the property as a matter of law whether or not you hook up. In an assessment environment, you could be assessed for your share of the project cost. And that is controlled by an ordinance that would be passed by the jurisdiction for a special assessment whether or not you must hook-up or not. If a project was to make service available and you don't hook-up, you would still have to pay the assessment which would be over a period of years and not a one time payment.

    But these are projects that are undertaken by a municipal water or sewer companies or some subdivision of the government such as a sewer authority or a municipal water company. A private land owner cannot create a special assessment project.

    So if the neighbor can convince the local sewer jurisdiction that he can bring 3 or 4 or 5 or more properties on line for sewer user rates in perpetuity, he may get them to do the project. At that point, if you would not cooperate and grant an easement, they could take it. That is not likely due to the overall cost to take property through eminent domain weighted against the potential revinue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    @budwad
    If my share of the cost was to be assessed and controlled by an ordinance that would be passed by the jurisdiction for a special assessment, wouldn’t the town approach me with regard to the breakdown of the cost as well as the situation for granting the easement?

    I’m not an expert on this (so I could be wrong), I do understand that he’s trying to convince the local sewer jurisdiction that he can bring X amount of properties on line for sewer, but why he is the one who is quantifying/assessing the cost which is being asked from the rest of the neighbors? Also, I don’t quite get how one of the other neighbors had declined this and basically his line that would have been connected to his house is going to be capped.
    As for this part, I am also confused:
    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    …At that point, if you would not cooperate and grant an easement, they could take it. That is not likely due to the overall cost to take property through eminent domain weighted against the potential revinue.
    What if I had built a permanent structure in that location, would they just demolish my structure just because it’s the only way in? Doesn’t seem quite right..
    I do appreciate your response, and based on your experience and knowledge of this, what approach would you take if you were in this situation? I’m curious (:


    @oldfartWbeard
    Luckily we don’t have wells -- all the houses in our neighborhood are town water.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Neighbor Asking for $ and Wants to Run Sewer Line Through My Property. WTH? lol

    Quote Quoting Remm
    View Post
    @budwad
    If my share of the cost was to be assessed and controlled by an ordinance that would be passed by the jurisdiction for a special assessment, wouldnít the town approach me with regard to the breakdown of the cost as well as the situation for granting the easement?.
    No they wouldn't. They would introduce an ordinance at one of their meetings all according to Robert's Rules of Parliamentary Procedure. Then they would advertise in a local newspaper that the first reading of the ordinance was done and that a public hearing on the ordinance and the vote will be scheduled for some date. That hearing is your opportunity to state your objections to the project. They don't have to notify you personally. It is your responsibility as a citizen and community member to keep track of what your local government is doing. If and when an assessment project was passed and your property was affected, you would be notified about a board of special assessment and when the assessment hearings will be held. At that point though, you would be subject to assessment for the cost of the project.


    Quote Quoting Remm
    View Post
    Iím not an expert on this (so I could be wrong), I do understand that heís trying to convince the local sewer jurisdiction that he can bring X amount of properties on line for sewer, but why he is the one who is quantifying/assessing the cost which is being asked from the rest of the neighbors? Also, I donít quite get how one of the other neighbors had declined this and basically his line that would have been connected to his house is going to be capped.
    As for this part, I am also confused:.
    The neighbor has no legal standing to require you to pay anything towards his project.


    Quote Quoting Remm
    View Post
    What if I had built a permanent structure in that location, would they just demolish my structure just because itís the only way in? Doesnít seem quite right..
    I do appreciate your response, and based on your experience and knowledge of this, what approach would you take if you were in this situation? Iím curious (:
    For the time being, just ignore any requests from your neighbor. He has no standing to make you pay anything towards his development. If your town has a website then check it about ordinances that are introduced and read the legal section of the newspaper that your town uses to make legal notices.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Maintenance and Repair: Neighbor Says I Can't Repair My Sewer Line on His Property Despite Sewer Easement
    By FZP in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-02-2016, 12:34 PM
  2. Easement Use and Enforcement: Neighbor's Sewer Line Are Outside of the Easement, Under My Property
    By mmjohnso1 in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-01-2015, 02:43 PM
  3. Creation of an Easement: Neighbor Has a Sewer Line on My Land, Wants an Easement
    By Advancedoptions in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-07-2013, 10:07 PM
  4. Creation of an Easement: Can My Neighbor Dig My Sewer Line Out if There's No Formal Easement
    By lvcas in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-04-2013, 06:55 AM
  5. Neighbor Wants an Easement for Sewer and Water Line
    By dricksar in forum Real Estate Ownership and Title
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-11-2008, 06:25 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources