Real Estate Law

Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Real Estate Law

Have an easement -live in the back house -the mainwaterline

Customer Question
is also underground of the...
have an easement -live in the back house -the mainwaterline is also underground of the easement. Front property owners later put driveway without consent. Now waterline is busted and must dig up driveway to fix or move waterline and water meter($10,000).Can
I force them to cut or dig up driveway? And at whose expense?
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Real Estate Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Answered in 7 minutes by:
12/17/2015
Real Estate Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Lawyer replied 1 year ago
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
Verified

Dear Customer,

Absent a written agreement, the parties to an easement share the cost of maintenance and repair.

In this case, the party with the "dominant parcel" (the one receiving the water) is going to be responsible for the cost of the water pipes (they cannot require the servient parcel owner to pay for their water supply).
The cost of repairing the driveway following damage to the driveway secondary to the pipeline repair however is going to be split between the owners. The Dominant Parcel has an obligation to make reasonable repairs, but this cost of repair does not increase with improvements made by the Servient Parcel. (So while the servient parcel may have a right to have the property returned to the condition it was originally, they are not entitled to additional paving, or other surfacing, at an increased cost.

However, as a practical matter, if this cost is relatively low (most contractors will figure this into their service), the servient property will cover this cost as well - it is only when the dominant parcel owner becomes overly greedy (asking for excessive repairs (or even improvements to their land) that most disputes arise.

If you cannot reach a resolution between the two property owners, you can sue one another in small claims court and get what is called a "declaratory judgment" where a judge will issue a ruling telling you exactly what each party owes under the terms of the easement.

Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
driveway was originally dirt. Can the driveway return to dirt end of story with no obligation to back house? or if driveway is surgically cut to allow fixing of pipe must the back house have approval of the front house to do this .
Real Estate Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

The servient easement (the front house in your situation) does not have an obligation to get approval from the dominant easement to make improvements to the property.

(The dominant easement is only entitled to the rights and privileges stated expressly in the easement (I would speculate that your easement states that there is a right of access for a water line - and nothing more, it would be incredibly rare that architectural design, improvements, or anything else would be included).

The cost of repairing this improvement following the dominant easement's repairs is what really is your issue - i.e. who is responsible for repairing the paved driveway (I assume there is no dispute that the dominant easement (back lot) is required to pay for the full cost of returning the property to its "original" condition - i.e. dirt road). As I noted, in most cases, unless something truly ornate was done (such as decorative concrete work, expensive pavers, or some unusual work that is truly exhoribinately expensive - the dominant easement is still going to pay for this (so if all that is at issue is covering over a small section of trenching with blacktop, expect the back lot to pay for it). If there are unusually expensive improvements (such as the improvements I noted above), the back lot can argue that the front lot should pay for these costs of repair as the improvement somehow has "impaired" their easement.

Get an agreement between the parties before chopping up the driveway if at all possible. If you cannot reach an agreement, try a mediator.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
10,244 Satisfied Customers
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.

CalAttorney2 is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

5,436 satisfied customers

17 years of legal experience including real estate law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

10,826 satisfied customers

16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

7,657 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Ray

Ray

Lawyer

7,367 satisfied customers

Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

6,207 satisfied customers

I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.

Dimitry Esquire

Dimitry Esquire

Attorney

5,526 satisfied customers

JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

4,899 satisfied customers

Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.

< Previous | Next >

Related Real Estate Law Questions
How to prevent prescriptive easement Arizona law. Az
How to prevent prescriptive easement Arizona law JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in? Customer: Az JA: Has any paperwork been filed? Customer:… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
10,826 satisfied customers
I wanted to know who is responsible to enforce maintenance
i wanted to know who is responsible to enforce maintenance on a drainage easement in Bexar County? … read more
P. Simmons
P. Simmons
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
34,933 satisfied customers
Florida HOA. Chapter 720. If an architectural committee
Florida HOA. Chapter 720. If an architectural committee disapproves a site plan for an owner, the owner should have the right to appeal to the board. Should there be an appeal period, such as 14 days,… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I live in and the community is in a homeowners association.
Good morning. I live in Virginia and the community is in a homeowners association. … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
I own property that grants a legal easement to another land
I own property that grants a legal easement to another land owner. It is his only option for access. The deed granting the easement is silent as to the maintenance. Once upon a time before I owned the… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,959 satisfied customers
We are an improvement dist in Kansas and have an easement
We are an improvement dist in Kansas and have an easement for a water line on a property. The owner wants to build a retaining wall that will cross over the water line. … read more
WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58
JD Honors Graduate
3,524 satisfied customers
Who is responsible for taxes on an easement on proerty that
Who is responsible for taxes on an easement on proerty that a house sits on in a development that is considered private property by the county and the developer is still in there. … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,657 satisfied customers
Is the easement laws the same everywhere.The property in in
Is the easement laws the same everywhere.The property in in WV . … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,657 satisfied customers
Can I build on an lake maintenance easement? Florida, In the
Can I build on an lake maintenance easement? JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in? Customer: Florida JA: Has any paperwork been filed? Customer… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
10,826 satisfied customers
A service club has an easement with the city "for ingress
A service club has an easement with the city "for ingress and egress to maintain" a monument. The monument is on city land, not the service club's land. (They don't have any land.) Does that mean the … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I have a question concerning an easement agreement to
I have a question concerning an easement agreement to property we are in the process of purchasing. The easement is legally deeded to someone. Do we have to enter an agreement to help with maintaining… read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,131 satisfied customers
Our Private Road's Maintenance ....Agreement, signed by 9
Our Private Road's Maintenance ....Agreement, signed by 9 home owners of the 9 homes on this steep road 30 years ago, is about to expire; it stipulates that it will then automatically renew for a peri… read more
Irwin Law
Irwin Law
Juris Doctor JD
7,052 satisfied customers
I have an easement question- Our neighbors have an easement
I have an easement question- Our neighbors have an easement over our property for road access. they use it to go to their campground behind us. Can they drive unregistered vehicles on our property (th… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
4,899 satisfied customers
HOA Architectural laws for airspace to condo owner as a rule
HOA Architectural laws for airspace to condo owner as a rule to build only 16 feet from a bedroom without this written in declaration only stated verbal years ago. Can the HOA deny the owner a fair an… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,367 satisfied customers
Is an easement leading directly to the water in the
Is an easement leading directly to the water in the neighborhood public or private and can it be restricted by the association? … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,657 satisfied customers
I am in Florida and the HOA has an architectural guidelines
I am in Florida and the HOA has an architectural guidelines that said no fruit trees or citrus trees shall be planted, possibly due to pest concern. Can I apply what was said before about getting an e… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,657 satisfied customers
If the condo association bills the monthly maintenance fees
If the condo association bills the monthly maintenance fees quarterly, but I want to pay monthly, the associations charges me 10% late fee. it that legal... I am not behind in any payments; however, i… read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
6,899 satisfied customers
Our homeowner association granted an egress-ingress easement
Our homeowner association granted an egress-ingress easement to the adjacent golf course 30 years ago. The golf course is now emptying water from their sand trap, which is located within that easement… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,657 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x