If property is jointly owned and sewege has been leaking for last several years unknown to one owner can that owner be held responsible ?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If property is jointly owned and sewege has been leaking for last several years unknown to one owner can that owner be held responsible ?

My father left my sister and I the house my sister has been living in
for about the last 15 years.I knew when they moved in they had a problem
with the septic tank but just assumed they fixed it.Well I lived in
Asheboro till 5 years ago and moved back here .So didn’t have cause to
go to my sister’s much and when I did I always entered and exited thru
front door.Long story short.We now want to split the land ,sell it
etc.and I just find out that for all this time sewege has been bubbling
up in the back yard and they have put plastic over it and spread like
over it every couple weeks.So can I be held responsible to clean upntgat
mess before it can be sold since I was not aware of it till recently?

Asked on January 2, 2017 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the town or a buyer can force you to pay to clean it up; as a property owner, you are responsible for contamination, pollution, etc. on the land, so you likely do have to clean this up before the property can e sold. Since your sister was the one who presumably is at fault in causignt you to incur this cost, since she did not fix a problem she was presumably aware of, you may be able to sue her to recover any money you have to lay out.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption