What is a buyer’s legal recourse if an easement and cemetery were found on their property but this fact was not disclosed prior to closing?

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What is a buyer’s legal recourse if an easement and cemetery were found on their property but this fact was not disclosed prior to closing?

We purchased a home in 2008. After living in the home for over 2 years, we were told by a neighbor there is a graveyard located in the woods behind our house on our property line. After walking into the woods and clearing away brush, 2 small headstones were found. We retrieved our plat from the county courthouse (which we were not shown during closing) and it was determined that the cemetery is located on the back portion of our land and is accompanied by an easement on our property. None of this information was disclosed to us prior to closing. Does the seller have to disclose a cemetery?

Asked on September 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) The seller would probably have to disclose it, IF the seller had known of it--and if the seller knew  and did not disclose, he or she may be liable to you for damages. However, if the seller him/herself had not known, then there probably would not be liablity against him or her.

2) The title search during your purchase should have turned this up, so you might have recourse against whoever did the search; and you may have recourse against your title insurance company (if it's not the same as the prior person), since title insurance insurers against various limitations or clouds on title, including easements.

You should consult with a real estate attorney to see your best options in this case.


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