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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
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My daughter, who lives on Harden Ave. in Camden, Maine, was

Customer Question

My daughter, who lives on Harden Ave. in Camden, Maine, was just told that she and her husband have to pay for their sewer line which apparently runs into the storm drains instead of the sewer lines. they bought the house not knowing this, and assumed this was something they need not worryabout. They have owned the house for three years and until today, did not know about this problem.
The town of Camden says they will have to pay $10,000.00 to fix this problem. I have said the sewers and water are oR should be Maintainted by the town of Camden. can tXhey sue the Town of Camden for not,properly maintaining the sewer and water lines. Why should these homeowner's be responsible for the Warner which t hey pay for? Shouldn't they assume their water was safe? What is their recourse?
Ardys Dodge
Please help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. I would like to assist you today. Responses may have a short delay for review and research.
It really depends on the circumstances. The best general rule is that the City is responsible from the junction into the main lines (for sewer) or from the main lines to the meter (for the water lines). The homeowner is responsible for the line from the meter to the house, inside the home, and from the home to the junction.
Unfortunately, a problem such as the one you describe is most likely going to be the homeowner's liability. The fact that the issue went undetected during the prior owner's ownership does not make it the city's liability. There may be a potential cause of action that your daughter and her husband could bring against the seller, or better yet, file against their title insurance, but as between the city and the homeowner, they are going to be responsible for changing the line over to the proper discharge.
I would recommend that they contact at least one or two private plumbers to get quotes to do this work - the City is not always the lowest bidder to do this work in a workmanlike fashion and they may be able to get the same work performed for less money by hiring a private contractor (as with any other contractor - check licensing with the state, BBB reports, and referrals, to confirm quality prior to hiring).
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my name is ***** ***** I will be glad to Answer your question. Please understand that the law does not always support our position or what we hope to accomplish, but until the law is changed, we have to obey it, or else fines will be imposed on us until we comply,
I am sorry to hear of your daughter's situation and what the Township is imposing on her and her husband. Actually, many townships have already made homeowners responsible for the sewers that service their property. However, many of these towns have spread the cost of the sewer installations over a period of time, sometimes it is a matter of months and sometimes, it is over a period of years. It all depends on the total cost which is being imposed on the homeowner.
In light of all the property taxes we are forced to pay, I think this cost should be paid by the municipality, or at least part of the cost should be paid by the municipality. If your daughter and other homeowners in her area are going through the same thing, they should get together and sign a Petition to present to their State Representatives and ask that the municipalities pay part of this cost because the total cost is unconscionably high for each family to pay. In addition, these homeowners should demand that a certain percentage of their property taxes should go towards the cost of the sewers, rather than expecting each homeowner to pay $10,000. In addition, the homeowners (in their Petition) should demand that the municipality call for bids to see who can accomplish these installation of sewers at the least amount of cost.
I realize that my Answer has not given you a way to eliminate the cost of these sewers. Unfortunately, any way we look at it, the municipalities will eventually manage to have us pay for anything they supply to us, so I took a pragmatic approach and offered suggestions on minimizing the actual amount that the homeowner would have to pay.
I realize that this was not the Answer you were hoping for, but please do not penalize me for actions taken by our municipal governments,
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ANDREA

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