Well Agreement Question

4 Replies

BP Friends,

I purchased a home from a former landlord back in 2014 in Suffolk, VA. She lived in the property next to mine. Both properties were owned by her parents. The home I purchased has the well that feeds both properties. We had a verbal understanding but no legal written well agreement. Fast forward to this year. Her property went into foreclosure (I was renting my property and was living out of state at the time). I reached out to the listing agent and told them that I owned the well that fed the property.

I was contacted by an agent in September about the well and was asked to enter into a well agreement.  I declined the initial offer and counter-offered.  The initial offer was 2 years to use my well to give the new owners time to drill their own.  My counter was three months.  I did not hear back from the agent.   Long story short, the new owners closed on the house late last month (October) and are currently renovating.  I contacted the new owners and they said that they are having a well put in "this week".  I haven't seen anyone digging a well.

How should I proceed?  Was the sale legal with out an agreement?  I am not comfortable with being responsible for providing water to a property I do not own.  Any insight would be appreciated!

Be at peace, my friends!

Kevin

You've been sharing groundwater with a neighbor for years. Neighbor unfortunately has to move. You don't want to continue sharing groundwater. New neighbor says "Oh, OK, I'll dig a new well."

Of course the sale was legal. 

You won't need to be providing any more water soon.

@Tom Gimer Thanks for the information.  This is my first time dealing with this kind of matter.   

Hi, Kevin. I hope this turned out well for you. I'm interested in learning more because I have a similar situation in Illinois (3 houses sharing a driveway, well, and septic system under a 100-year-old verbal agreement ... I now own 2 of the houses). Were the new owners aware of the situation when they bought the house? Did they have traditional financing? Was there any snag involving title insurance? 

@Kevin Freeman following this post, because it is my understanding that you cannot sell a home in Illinois without water or heat. I find it interesting that the sale proceeded without something in writing regarding water fees etc. In Illinois we are an attorney driven state, have you contacted an attorney? This does not sound right - your verbal agreement was with the former owner of the property, not the house. Keep us posted and good luck!

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