If an neighbor’s water line that should run the easement in my property actually runs totally outside of the easement, must I pay to relocate it?

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If an neighbor’s water line that should run the easement in my property actually runs totally outside of the easement, must I pay to relocate it?

I own a house and large yard that has an easement for a property adjoining it. The easement was written into the deed in 1978 for “installation and maintenance of a water and/or sewer line 15′ in width along the south lot line”. The water line to this property does not run through this easement, it runs 50′ north of it in my yard. They say they aren’t responsible for moving the water line. But since it is on my private property with no easement, is that legal? They say they don’t have to, and that I need to pay all their legal fees to even ask the question, let alone costs to move it. But if it’s 100% out of the easement and on my property, is that correct? Is something like this grandfathered in? Because it’s out of the easement, aren’t they legally obligated to move it into the easement?

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written you do not have to pay for the reinstallation of the water line that you have an easement with respect to another person's property because the water line is not within the described easement. Neither does the owner of the land burdened by the easement.

In essence you have a prescriptive easement where the water line presently lies from what you have written. The best way to resolve the situation is to consult with a real estate attorney to have a new easement description drawn up and recorded if the adjoining neighbor will sign it and you give up in a document to be recorded the other easement description that does not contain the water line.


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