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I have an easement on the side of my neighbors property for…

I have an easement...

I have an easement on the side of my neighbors property for water and sewer. a Oleander bush (Large bush) was planted on top of my water lines and broke them in several places. I fixed a break last year due to these roots and itwas expensive. The pipes broke again and my neighbor is being, terrible. Whose responsibility is it to fix the pipes. It is her bush on top of my pipes and I mean planted right on top.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No. I have never seen the easement. There is no indication on my deed. she says there is an easement on hers

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so. thanks

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
She is demanding I have an engineer come out, at her conveince, and see if the leak damaged anything. It is muddy, yes but that is all. I had a friend, who is a licensed engineer in California come over and he said the same thing it is muddy. Also, said it is clearly her tree on top of the lines. This easement was in force before either of us bought these properties.
Answered in 11 minutes by:
7/4/2017
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: JA Mentor
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

She is welcome to have an engineer come out at her convenience and expense. However, since she caused the leak, she is responsible for the cost.

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Your neighbor has an obligation to use and enjoy her property in a manner such that it does not interfere with the easement. If her bush is causing problems, shes needs to not only repair the pipes, but remove the bush.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
do I get to ask a few questions for the price. That was not clear.

You can ask as many questions related to the easement as you need to understand your rights and obligations. Questions on other topics would go on a separate page. (No additional charge.)

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The statute of limitations for property damage in California is three years. What that means is, if your neighbor will not work with you, you could sue her for the cost of repairing the current damage AND the money you had to spend last year. It's possible telling her that will make her more likely to negotiate with you to fix the current issue.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
She wants me to fix everything. I have tried to contact her. I did not know her number and could not catch the renters at home. I have been having issues with the water for over a month. She told me she reported the leak so she knew about it well before I did and did not excercise due dilligence. I do not feel this is my expense. I did the right thing and was fixing it and I guess I got a little out of where the easement is and she blew up. I told her it was that or her trees had to be removed which she refused. I was trying to do the nice thing and get, screwed, as always.
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
There is no mention of any easements of any kind on my deed. she says it is on hers

You can go to the county and get a copy of her deed, showing the easement.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
anything in particular I should look for in the easement description?

You have two options. One is to pay to fix your pipes (not her property, just your pipes), then go to Small Claims Court and file for a refund. Again, you can seek reimbursement for both times you had to fix the problem. The benefit of this approach is that you'll get your water fixed faster. The downside is that you have to pay upfront.

The other option is to sue and ask the judge to order her to repair the pipes. But that can take a few weeks.

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Ordinarily, you'd want to look to see if it says who is supposed to maintain the easement. But because she's planting on it and knowingly interfering with your pipes, that won't make a difference for getting these expenses reimbursed. She's on notice not to have the plant there after the first time this happened.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
she has "allowed" me to run a pipe above ground but said I can not bury anything until I pay for an engineer to come. It's a water pipe it leaked from damage caused by her trees and bushes, do I have to get an engineer and can she cut my water off

The easement should state that it's for underground access. You don't need her permission with an easement. And she cannot cut your water off or interfere with the pipes. An easement is written permission to use the property and it cannot be revoked.

Since she doesn't sound inclined to discuss this with you reasonably, it could help to have a local attorney send her a letter explaining the law and what her obligations are.

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A lawyer should be able to find her address. You can also look when you're at the county to see what other real estate she owns in the county.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
also, my meter is right on the road and gets backed over everyday. it looks to me they put the meter in and ran a 90 angle out and another right back to the road. This puts my water lines, actually, before the meter so would the city have any liability here

That's really a separate issue. I work with issues between neighbors, but if you want to talk about utility company liability for meters, I'd have to ask you to open a new question page for another expert.

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: JA Mentor
Verified
Lucy, Esq. and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I can get all the info and get the letter written. thank you

You're welcome. Good luck.

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