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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Sewer and Water Line Easement

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: California

    The two lots behind our house (and our neighbor's house) were bought last year, and the new owners are building a house. They informed our next-door neighbors and us that our sewer and water lines were located on their property--something we were unaware of when we bought our house. They are asking us to move the lines. Our next door neighbor got his title company to pay for the relocation, but ours refused, saying that "if the description of the land set forth in the policy does not include an easement, then that easement is not insured by our policy". Our next-door neighbors ended up moving their lines, and selling their house, in part, they said, because their interactions with the new neighbors (the ones that are building a house) were so nasty and negative! Very sadly, we were unable to get advice from them because the (young) husband died in a freak accident several months ago.

    We tried to see if our homeowner's insurance policy would cover moving the lines, but were told they would pay for replacement of the lines should they get damaged while the new house is being constructed (after $1000 deductible). We also contacted the California Department of Insurance, but it seems they have no teeth, because we got a second refusal letter from the title company after the Cal. Dept. of Insurance contacted them.

    How could it be that our neighbor's title company paid for the relocation, but ours won't? We of course WANT our lines to be relocated, but we will have to take out a loan to pay for it. We wonder why we have insurance if it won't pay for such things?

    Now the new neighbors are sending nasty e-mails to us, basically implying that they are going to dig back there and won't be responsible for the damage. We told them we are still trying to get it paid for, but I guess they are trying to get us to move on it.

    Should we pay for a lawyer, and try to sue the title company, or see what our options are?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Sewer and Water Line Easement

    The title insurance company may be blowing you off because the policy beneficiary is the mortgage lender and not yourselves. You will have paid for it at closing in either case and may think it protects you.

    You need to get an attorney asap to put at least a temporary stop to your neighbors and start to get this sorted out.

    I wonder how the utilities got to be placed where they are. This is an unusual situation, to say the least. An attorney can look into the history of ownership of the parcels and may find a way out for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: Sewer and Water Line Easement

    Thank you for your reply. It has become apparent to my husband and I that we had better get a lawyer. Since September, there's been an attitude of "maybe it will just go away" on our part. That's over. Wish me luck. Does this site recommend local (CA) lawyers, or advise where people should go to find a local, appropriate lawyer? I'm new to it.

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