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Buying property with an easement issue

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limpyL

Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA

HI,

Im looking to buy land undeveloped land, when looking online I noticed that one of the potential neighbors (bob) built a pole barn 10-15 years ago thats within 2-4 ft from the property line. the township has a 15 foot easement that has to have both of the owners approval to build on the easement. I know PA has a 21 year Adverse Possession law so I don't have to worry about it.

My questions are

1. How can i find out if it was approved to built on the easement by both land owners?

2. If I purchase the property does the law allow my to request it to be moved off the easement?

this could present an issue depending on where i can build on this land. The land is in a great place and for a great price, the only issue is the pole barn. I called the zoning office and found out that Bob's girlfriend works there and I feel it would be a conflict of interest to further pursue that road.

Thanks
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA

HI,

Im looking to buy land undeveloped land, when looking online I noticed that one of the potential neighbors (bob) built a pole barn 10-15 years ago thats within 2-4 ft from the property line. the township has a 15 foot easement that has to have both of the owners approval to build on the easement. I know PA has a 21 year Adverse Possession law so I don't have to worry about it.

My questions are

1. How can i find out if it was approved to built on the easement by both land owners?

2. If I purchase the property does the law allow my to request it to be moved off the easement?

this could present an issue depending on where i can build on this land. The land is in a great place and for a great price, the only issue is the pole barn. I called the zoning office and found out that Bob's girlfriend works there and I feel it would be a conflict of interest to further pursue that road.

Thanks
Why don't you ask the owner?
 

limpyL

Member
Thank you for replying.

The area I'm looking to buy in is a small town where everyone knows everyone. I feel if I start poking around the land could be snatched up by "bob" and i miss out on a great piece of land. I did a deed search and noticed that Bob settled on an adjacent plot of land days after 2 lots were purchased NW of his property. It could be a coincidence or it could be he snagged it up before someone else could. If it is the latter of the two, what would stop him if he finds out someone is looking to purchase and he snags it up. Again I don't want to miss out on a great piece of land if that were to happen.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
The ONLY way to find the answer to question #1 is to ask those involved. You either risk it or live with the consequences.

If both property owners are aware of the building and its location, even if there was not express permission a court could rule it was implied and there is nothing preventing the permission to be granted ex post facto.

in other words; don't plan on the building moving.


Question #2 : see above.
 

limpyL

Member
The ONLY way to find the answer to question #1 is to ask those involved. You either risk it or live with the consequences.

If both property owners are aware of the building and its location, even if there was not express permission a court could rule it was implied and there is nothing preventing the permission to be granted ex post facto.

in other words; don't plan on the building moving.


Question #2 : see above.

Im not sure if this matters but shortly after I found out about the deeds I looking into Adverse Possession law and it stated that implied/handshake/verbal agreement is not binding. Im not sure if that is means if it only applies to encroachment or to an easement as well. would ex post facto apply if the township requires consent in writing?
 

justalayman

Senior Member
Well, whatever you found is not really correct. For their to be an adverse possession claim he possession must be adverse. A handshake agreement removes the adverse part of adverse possession.

The problem with an unwritten agreement is proving it. Depending on who is trying to prove it and why, it may be impossible
 

limpyL

Member
I made a call to the zoning board head guy and he stated that it HAS to be a written agreement between both parties or it can't be built. So anything less would not be accepted??? (Personally I found this odd that the township would give so much power/final say to a person with conflicting interest. Leaving it up to your neighbor to decide if he will let you build on your property within the easement)

Assuming it has to be a written agreement between both parties prior to the structure going up, would that shift the burden of proof to bob that an agreement was written and filed with the zoning office?

Again thank you for replying. Law seems to be more gray than black and white to me, so its hard to fully understand what I could or could not be getting into. It doesn't help that this is a great opportunity and to be emotionally attached. Maybe I'm grasping for straws and hoping.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I made a call to the zoning board head guy and he stated that it HAS to be a written agreement between both parties or it can't be built. So anything less would not be accepted??? (Personally I found this odd that the township would give so much power/final say to a person with conflicting interest. Leaving it up to your neighbor to decide if he will let you build on your property within the easement)

Assuming it has to be a written agreement between both parties prior to the structure going up, would that shift the burden of proof to bob that an agreement was written and filed with the zoning office?

Again thank you for replying. Law seems to be more gray than black and white to me, so its hard to fully understand what I could or could not be getting into. It doesn't help that this is a great opportunity and to be emotionally attached. Maybe I'm grasping for straws and hoping.
Did the zoning board head guy give you any reference to the law that requires that the agreement be written?
 

justalayman

Senior Member
Well, then you run with whatever the city guy told you. If this comes to pass be sure to subpoena him into court to testify to his statement.
 

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