What to do about a shared well and a property sale?

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2012

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What to do about a shared well and a property sale?

We bought my parents house and now need to sell it. Our real estate agent said it won’t sell with a shared well. My parents gave my brother land behind the house and let him share the well. He doesn’t live at the property and we told him we’d give him 30 days before we shut the water off from our house to his trailer. He says that he has a water right case against us and is taking us to court. The well is on our property, he’s never paid a dime for the pump upkeep. Does he have a case? The shared well is in the deed to the house but we have no signed shared well agreement with him.

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maine


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If he has rights under his deed then you can not do anything that could violate those rights.  Much like if there were an easement in the deed you could not put a fence around it to deny entry by the person who has the easement.  It may be best for you seek help from an attorney to negotiate a deal here. I would make an argument in equity: that thre is assumed an obligation to maintain the weel and that he owes money to you for the maintentance all these years.  Maybe if it is possible then you can use that as leverage to have him sign over the right and dig his own well.  Good luck. 

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