What to do if I bought a property with an undisclosed easement which has resulted in a loss of value to my property?

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What to do if I bought a property with an undisclosed easement which has resulted in a loss of value to my property?

I bought my house 2-1/2 years ago. Then 9 months ago I found out the house behind mine is tied in to my sewer line. According to the neighbor, originally our houses were on a single lot with one owner. At some point the properties were split, but the sewer lines were not separated. I tried to file a claim with my title company for an undisclosed easement. The title company attorney responded that since the easement doesn’t occur on my property the tie-in is on the neighbor’s property, they are not liable. I believe the seller’s of my house knew about the sewer line but I can’t prove it. I went to the city and asked them to separate the lines. They refused. What are my options?

Asked on October 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your first option is to carefully review the preliminary title report and title report that your presumably received before and when you closed escrow on your property.

If such is stated regarding the easement that you are writing about, you were on notice before close and have very little legal recourse with respect to what you have written. If the easement is not listed in the preliminary and actual title report then you possibly have a claim against your title insurance carrier in that it means nothing from what you have written if the tie in by the neighbor is not on your parcel.

Given such and the complicated nature of easements and valuation of them, I suggest that you consult with a real estate attorney with experience in this area of the law to advise you how your should proceed concerning your matter.


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