Can we invoice a vacant owner for maintenance on a vacant lot in front of our house that we’ve been taking care of for 9+ years?

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Can we invoice a vacant owner for maintenance on a vacant lot in front of our house that we’ve been taking care of for 9+ years?

We’ve been maintaining the 1+ acre lot in front of our house for 9+ years since we didn’t know who/where the owner was and didn’t want an ugly, overgrown field to look at. The owner came to us and wanted to know if we wanted to buy it since he now wants to sell. If we had the money we would. Since he is selling it, can we invoice him for all of the time we have spent maintaining it?

Asked on August 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can invoice the owner of the vacant lot for the work that you did gratis for him or her over the past nine (9) years. However, I believe that this will irritate the owner as opposed to please him or her. If you want to buy the property, I suggest that you have a face to face meeting with the owner and negotiate price and terms where the owner can carry back the sale by way of a note and recorded trust deed.

Perhaps the work you did on the property may help in getting you a reduced price. The owner would have no legal obligation to pay you any submitted invoice.


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