Can we be forced to hook up to water and sewer at our house?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can we be forced to hook up to water and sewer at our house?

We bought our home 8 years ago. No one ever told us that we had to hook up to water and sewer. It’s not even to our curb it’s in the middle of the street. Well now we want to sell our home but the town said if we sell then the new owners will be forced to hook up. We got an estimate and it’s over $23,000. So now no one wants to buy our house. We are only asking $210,000 since no one can get a higher mortgage to pay for the work. Is there a law that if work exceeds more than 10% of the value of your home then you can not be forced to do the work? Plus, most of the time it’s to the curb and there for cuts $12,000 off the cost but it’s not at our curb so we are being told that we have to pay to have the road cut open and pay for cops to

direct traffic.

Asked on March 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If town ordinances, or zoning laws, or building or health code requires you to have water and sewer hook-ups, yes the town can force you (or a buyer) to do this. Towns have extraordinary power to set these rules and require compliance with them.
2) It doesn't matter how expensive it would be; you must comply with the law.
3) There is no exception to this requrement for work that exceeds 10% of the home's value.
So either you need to do this; or you need to reduce your price to the point where a buyer will agree to take the home as is and do this work himself.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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