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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35406
Experience:  I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
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We bought and moved into a newly constructed house in Lane

Customer Question

We bought and moved into a newly constructed house in Lane County Oregon five years ago. We signed a shared well agreement; the well is on our property. We shared the well with the house next door. That house has been completely demolished and a new house is being built, but not in the same footprint. The pipe leading to the old house has been severed by construction workers. New pipe from our will have to be laid.
I found out recently that the well is 18 years old and am concerned about the longivity of our water supply and other things. Originally, two wells were constructed and given well id numbers on the property which was subsequently divided in the two adjacent lots. Our well has no identifying plate on it. The regional wellmaster cannot tell which well is in use now. So our shared well is one of two wells.
There are a few other code irregularities to the well issue.
Do I have enough of a case to break out of the well agreement so the well becomes ours alone?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good morning Helen,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While I empathize with your concerns over the well water longevity and the aging mechanics of the well, that alone is not a valid reason to terminate a shared well agreement.

Despite the fact that there may be some irregularities in the identification of the well, the simple legal fact is that there is a well agreement between your property and the adjoining property and they are able to draw water from your property. Whether you have one well or a host of wells on your property, the adjacent property owners are able to draw water from your property. Presumably the pipe that was severed leads to the well that is the shared well and that is what the neighbors are entitle to access. Of course, they are responsible for laying new pipe to the extent that their contractors severed the old pipe.

As for the code irregularities, if these are not new codes which do not apply to preexisting wells, then the well agreement will dictate who is responsible for bringing the well to code----via the maintenance clause.

As long as a valid well agreement is in place you do not have any legal basis to terminate, or break out of, it based solely on the facts that you have stated exist. I am sorry.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.

Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good evening Helen,

Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you?

In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.

As I have provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug