Bethesda, MD asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: Maryland Montgomery County, real estate question on sewer easement.

A neighbor’s sewer line run across our property. They had a clog and asked for permission to dig / fix via our front yard since that’s where the plumber says the clog is at. Being neighborly, we gave permission (plumbers dug a hole way larger than we expected) . And Now they want to install a permanent access point (Ie. pipe sticking out, or a feet below ground) on our land. We are saying no. Are we within our rights? We are not aware of any formal easements, but not sure about implied easement and what right that gives them. But they could just install access points on their lot (We think they just don’t want to dig up their yard and ours already dug up.) thoughts?

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The investigation starts with a title search and survey to know with more certainty than "we are not aware" whether there are easements recorded. There are then some very limited rights that sometimes resolve by necessity, but the caselaw on that is very fact specific. You need to review those facts with competent counsel. And, even if you agree to allow the permanent access point, you need to document it and record it to prevent the easement from becoming bigger than intended.

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