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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36198
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I am looking at buying a property on which no one has lived

Customer Question

I am looking at buying a property on which no one has lived for 10 years. The last tenant supposedly used a spring water tap, but there is no documentation of this. I am looking to find out if the property owner has the right to the spring on the land.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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This may seem obvious, but have you asked the current owner where any water supply comes from?

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Have you conducted a thorough inspection of the property to see if any springs are situated nearby?

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Does the seller know about any easements that might be in place for a nearby water source?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just met with the realtor and she told me I needed to speak with a lawyer; I have not spoken with the landowner. Apparently the land was last inhabited by his deceased brother 10 years ago, so the land is overgrown. There was what looked like a plastic water "tube" in one spot in the land where he had his trailer parked. The landowner stated that his brother used spring water, but was unaware of any easement. It is an estate property.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then they may be referring to some type of easement that has been granted to the property owner to use a spring water source on someone else's land. If there is an actual recorded easement, it would be recorded in the local land records office and a title search would find it.

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If not, then there would have to be a water source on the property for use or it might be difficult to get water service to it if city water is not out that far if you couldn't drill for a well on the property somewhere.

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But your best source of information will be the actual owner of the land, then a neighbor, as they tend to know what is going on with the property next door..

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You definitely want to investigate thoroughly as you don't want to get stuck with a "pig in a poke" and might want to consider putting in a contingency in any offer that you are able to locate an adequate supply of water for the property to be determined by you. That gives you an out if it would be too expensive to drill a well.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where can I search for this easement? Would I search under the landowners name?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

In the local Register of Deeds office where deeds are recorded. You would look under the property address or the owner's name and then trace the deed back through a few owners to see if there is any mention of an easement on the property.

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This is called a "title search" and brings up any encumbrances (like an easement) that may be on a property. They are a pain to perform and can take hours if you aren't familiar with the process. I hate doing them as I don't do them very often and will normally just contact a local title or closing company and subcontract it out to them for $100 or $150 so I don't have to do it. But there is nothing that would prevent you from doing so if you wanted to put the time into researching the public records on the property.

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thanks

Barrister

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