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Pennsylvania Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Cop came on my property without permission $600 for a fire ordinance I was using it for recreational for marshmallow
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 15, 2024

In most cases, a police officer cannot enter your property without your permission if they are only investigating a potential ordinance violation. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule:

1. If the officer has a valid search warrant, they can enter your property to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a cop come on your property without your permission over an ordinance
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 15, 2024

In most cases, a police officer cannot enter your property without your permission if they are only investigating a potential ordinance violation. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule:

1. If the officer has a valid search warrant, they can enter your property to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Seller asked to leave shed on property for 30 days. It’s now after 30 days. Is it ours now?

We closed on a house Dec 1. We had an addendum written that states the seller can leave their shed for no more than 30 days, along with paying for removal and any damages. The problem is, they haven't picked up the shed and it is now over 30 days. Is it our shed now?

Unfortunately,... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 1, 2024

In Pennsylvania, the ownership of a shed left on a property after a specified period, as outlined in a contractual addendum, can be determined by the terms of the agreement. If the addendum explicitly states that the seller can leave the shed for no more than 30 days and that ownership transfers to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: There is an alley-way directly behind my property. On the left and right side there are houses.

We are all allowed to use the alley-way for the purpose of walking through it. I need to attach a downspout to this area of my building in order to direct a portion of the rain water here. My question is, does the fact that we are all able to use the space for walking through also allow for this?... View More

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz
answered on Feb 21, 2023

It’s hard to say without knowing whether there is a written easement agreement or other writing (perhaps in the deed) creating the right of way and whether it restricts the easement for its intended use. If the new downspout would further restrict the use of the easement for its intended use, I... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Want to block our driveway from neighbors using it cause we found out there is no right of way or easement.

How can we do this legally or can we just barricade it

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
answered on Jul 26, 2023

This is a complicated question, which needs to be reviewed with a lawyer. There are many missing facts.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do I find out who owns the ROW between my property and my neighbors and what its purpose is?

I have tried to look on the GIS Map and tax maps but it comes up as "no additional information"

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on May 2, 2023

The starting point is to search the titles of you and the adjoining tracts for the last 100-150 years. Easements can be created expressly, by implication, subdivision dedication, prescription, necessity, and probably a few other ways. HIre a PA attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Family Law and Personal Injury for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is this real money that was left for me
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jan 30, 2022

A Pennsylvania attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. Some information may have been left off here. It isn't fully clear in what context the money left for you materialized, and your post straddles a number of categories - each could have different manners in... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Selling my house. Neighbor recently built on my right of way

I did file suit against township. Was told it’s a civil matter. They do no have enforcement

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Jan 13, 2022

You need to file suit against the neighbor. They can't build on your property. You need to survey it, then you can say it's truly on your line.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Pennsylvania. Is this the wording of an easement?

Excepting and reserving therefrom all that certain piece or parcel of land set forth in a deed from the grantors herein to John smith which premises are a portion of within described premises and are described in a map referenced in the deed from Mr Jones to John Smith

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
answered on Sep 20, 2021

No, it is not an easement.

The original parcel contained some land which was conveyed to John Smith. The deed that you are asking about conveyed everything else except for the part conveyed to John Smith.

Rather than have the land re-surveyed and new legal descriptions prepared,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello, I have a question about the recent purchase of a house.

When the inspection and walk throughs were done it was winter time and there were a few snow storms and the deck on the house was covered with snow. Once the snow cleared we noticed that the deck had an addition done which is completely unsafe, and when signing the mortgage paperwork the previous... View More

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Jun 4, 2021

Did you have the house inspected? If not, as is means as is. If there was a disclosure form, and they did not disclose that is your best avenue.

You want to find what it would cost to fix, and ask them for it. See how long the other realtor had it for. If you have a realtor ask them how...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My father has property in Puerto Rico that is under both his name and my mother, it is also registered as a church.

My father and mother can no longer taker care of it and want to transfer the deed to my siblings and self, can this be done if they are still living? We are looking to sell this property after transfer of deed. Will we encounter any other legal issues with this?

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
answered on May 26, 2021

They can certainly transfer the property to family members. If they can’t care for themselves, a Power of Attorney would probably be advised so that you and siblings could act directly on their behalf.

You should engage a lawyer in Puerto Rico familiar with real estate and estate...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: can I claim adverse possession on property I maintained for 27 years if that property was sold 5 years ago
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on May 25, 2021

From the facts you stated--no. You don't have a right for maintaining a property unless there is an agreement giving you ownership interest of some type. Even if there was, if the land was sold, it's on you to do something. However I may be missing facts and it may be worth your while to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Land Use & Zoning and Tax Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it possible to operate a nonprofit and an unrelated for profit business on the same land?

I, along with 3 others (one of whom is my husband) are looking at buying a large plot of land. Two of us have experience farming and we would like to farm the land for personal use. We would also like to provide food from the farm to those in need. So we would like to apply for nonprofit status and... View More

Michael Cherewka
Michael Cherewka
answered on Dec 7, 2020

The "simple" answer to your question is it is possible to operate a non-profit and a for-profit on the same land. However the more important and complex questions are (i) does it make sense from a tax and business point of view; and (ii) what are your for-profit goals or objectives. You... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Driveway easement

Purchased a home in Pa came back with clean title with no easement for shared driveway the new owner of the house next door came over and told me that it is a shared driveway and I told her no that I own it now she want to file an easement to use my driveway what can I do to stop them from using it

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
answered on Jul 16, 2020

This is a problem to be resolved through the title company you used when you bought the house. There are multiple possible answers:

1. Your title company made a mistake;

2. You made a mistake and mis-read your policy;

3. Your neighbor made a mistake;

4. The...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Business Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do I find an electrician's insurance company if he will not provide it? Damage was done and need to know next steps.

Electrician performed an electrical service upgrade to 200 Amps without pulling a permit. Also, when approached about damages that he caused to my hardwood floors since he refused to take shoes off or work with booties, he denied liability and just walked off the job, keeping my initial down... View More

Elizabeth Tarasi
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answered on Jun 23, 2020

Hire an attorney and file a lawsuit

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Environmental for Pennsylvania on
Q: Looking to purchase land that has an old industrial dump and an old mine. Am I responsible for future problems ?

Or is original company that put the dump on the property still responsible? And what if they are no longer in existence? Just want it for grazing land for horses. It is being monitored by DEP. dump is closed and inactive and covered.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Jun 5, 2020

You are technically responsible for what is on (and under) your land. So.....if leachate comes out and poisons drinking water, it is possible you could be liable.

When companies site dumps they have to provide insurance. However if this was long ago, that is unlikely to have happened....
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I have to move a fence that has been up for over 25 years because the next door property owner had it surveyed?

I purchased the property 2 years ago and the fence existed before purchase. All the lots in town are the same size. The neighbors that have been here said the fence has been up for over 25 years. Now the new next door property owner wants it moved cause they had it surveyed and 3 foot of it the... View More

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Jun 5, 2020

Have the property resurveyed. Here's the thing--it was possibly adversely possessed, but as to the previous owner.

If the lot sizes are the same you may be on the next person's lot.

So, you need to determine if the lot was sold to you with the dimensions you say, did you...
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2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have several questions about a land dispute and trespassing so I will do my best to be as clear as I can.

I have about 80 acres of land with a 2 acre pond in Mercer County PA. We own approx. 75% of the pond and the neighbor owns the other 25%. We have never had any trouble with that land owner.

However, he recently sold his land and the 25% of the lake to someone else and it has been trouble... View More

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz
answered on May 22, 2020

Your question gives no explanation of a number of facts which may prove decisive. A few of the facts needed: how the 75/25 split in ownership of the pond was initially created and when; whether the pond is man-made or of natural origin; how it is fed, such as by run-off, stream, an underground... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Property maintained solely for 30 years can someone just take it off me?

I maintained a small piece of land solely for over 30 years adjacent to my home i have proof ,pictures by the ton and borough letters etc Everyone including the d.o.c workers stopped right before this piece of property and never maintained it i did .Today the new president of council said i have... View More

Evan Charles Pappas
Evan Charles Pappas
answered on May 14, 2020

There is a concept known as "adverse possession" which, under the right circumstances, grants title to real estate to those who have maintained it for 21+ years. However, the rules are very particular and would also need to be asserted in court. I also have questions about the nature of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My neighbor has an outside light on the side of his house that lights up my whole yard and house. Anything I can do?

Neighbor has an actual streetlight mounted to the side of his house. I’ve told him it comes in my windows and makes doing anything after dark in our yard a nuisance. But he said we live in a dangerous neighborhood so he needs it. Which we don’t. My grandparents lived in this house since 1958.... View More

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall
answered on May 4, 2020

Yes, but it will likely be a huge and expensive hassle for you. The light spillage could be considered a "nuisance" in the law, and you could ask a court to make him take it down (or at least replace it with a light that isn't as bright). Such an action, however, must be brought in... View More

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