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shared cesspool

Discussion in 'Other Ownership, Use & Privacy Issues' started by Steven Parmigiani, Jan 28, 2021.

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  1. Steven Parmigiani

    Steven Parmigiani Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    New York
    purchased private home in 2000.
    just found out that neighbor's house is tied into our cesspool. no agreement or easement exists. can we cap neighbor s connection to our cesspool.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That you know of.

    Not without some potentially legal and financial consequences.

    I suggest you do some research first.

    For example, were your properties originally one property that was serviced by the cesspool and subsequently subdivided?

    Have you asked your neighbor if he has any documentation of an agreement or easement? Depending on how long he's lived there he might not even be aware of the situation.

    You would also be wise to consult an attorney and review your options.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    No on here has any way of knowing if you have this ability, but I doubt this is what you actually intended to ask.

    Found out how? When exactly did you discover this? How long have you lived on the property, and why didn't you discover it earlier?

    I'll assume that you paid a title company or attorney to confirm no easements or that you got a policy of title insurance when you acquired your property that didn't mention any easements. I'll also assume that you never entered into an agreement with the neighbor or any of the prior owners of the neighbor's property. But how do you know that no prior owner of your property entered into an agreement with your neighbor or a prior owner of the neighbor's property?

    Upon your discovery that the neighbor's house is tied into your cesspool, did you walk over to the neighbor's house or call the neighbor to discuss the matter? If not, then that's the rather obvious first thing to do. If so, please tell us how that discussion (and any subsequent discussions) went.
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Consider also that there may be an easement by prescription through open and notorious usage over time. In New York State, adverse possession is covered in Article 5 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law and it requires 10 years possession. Considering that you just discovered a potential property dispute 20 years later, I think it would be best to speak to an attorney before doing anything, as advised by @adjusterjack .

    Seems we actually discussed a similar legal question on easements and septic issues in New York almost 11 years ago!
     
    army judge likes this.
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  6. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    Are you sure that you have a cesspool and not a septic system? Cesspools have been illegal in NY for any new construction since 1973. Existing cesspools could be maintained but not replaced. NY statutes require each recorded parcel to have its own system unless they are connected to a sewer system of some magnitude.

    I would guess that you found out about the neighbor's connection because you are having a problem or the neighbor is having a problem.

    And you cannot just cap off your neighbor's waste line without causing a lot of legal headaches for yourself not withstanding the lack of any agreement or easement.

    I suggest that you contact your local or county health department and discuss the situation with them. They may tell you that your neighbor will have to install his own septic system on his own property.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.

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