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Pennsylvania Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
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... Read 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... Read 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... Read 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... Read 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... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi 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... Read 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... Read 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... Read 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... Read 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... Read 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.... Read 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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: We recently purchased a new home. We asked our neighbors about installing a fence on the property line and ....

They all gave us the go ahead. We checked the Lebanon County, PA rules and there were none. We had a company come out and start to install our fence (vinyl 6ft high) to be served with a cease and desist from developers who sold the land to the builder. The builder didn’t disclose the deed... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jan 18, 2020

This, among other reasons, is why people should have lawyers when they buy houses. A competent lawyer would have asked the title company for copies of the restrictions, and you would have then known what they were. However, you may have a legitimate beef with your title company for not providing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am a performer, and I am able to set up a space in my home and sell tickets for shows that I write and perform?

I have a room in my house that I would like to turn into a parlor for small performances of 10 to 20 people to do an hour long mentalism show. We would like to do the show, offer canned sodas, sealed snacks, and popcorn to the guests. It would be in the form of a small house party and would take... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Dec 4, 2019

You need to check your local zoning code.

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I live in a school zone, directly across from a primary school. It is becoming a problem with people parking in my

Driveway. It’s fine if they are there 3-5 minutes, but I have a consistent woman who parks, leaves her car running and blocks the entire driveway for upwards of 10+ minutes. Even when there are spaces to park away from the driveway and no one is blocking her in; she chooses to block my driveway.... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 20, 2019

Call the police and have them ticket her.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is there a grandfather clause in pa on a parking lot that's been used by the community for 50+yrs to continue to use it?

The lot is the only parking area for most consumers/business owners in this area, and has been used by anyone for 50+yrs. The new owner wants to block it off. People also use this as a through way. Is there a grandfather clause for This? How do I find it? How do I prove the grandfather law?

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Nov 2, 2019

Any restriction or reserved use would be cited in the deed

1 Answer | Asked in Energy, Oil and Gas, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have land with multiple rentals on it. The gas company wants to drill on my property or the one next to mine.

My question is if they buy out my property to set up a drill pad, should I try to negotiate for not only the replacement cost of the buildings, but the lost income of the property? The lots are only 100' wide, so any drilling will affect multiple plots. There are 5 rentals beside my home plus... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Sep 28, 2019

Yes you need to negotiate to get everything you will lose. I negotiate these purchases all the time.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Ordinance inspectors walking on private property. When asked to leave they return with local police escort, no warrant.

Peeking in buildings, campers, garages, they say they have a right on private property w/o your permission and w/o administrative warrant. Actual ordinance says they have a right to inspect all buildings on the property, if they want to. The ordinance inspector says it's legal and the 4th... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 11, 2019

An interesting point. If he sees a violation in plain view---i.e. visible from the street--they can cite the owner. However if they need to get on the property they need to ask permission. They can and should get a warrant. That they didn't is something you should contact the Pennsylvania... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandmother died and left her land to her children they have not paid land tax for 5 years do I have rights if I pay

The land was willed to her children who are not paying the land is still in my grandmothers name

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Aug 12, 2019

No. If you are not one of her children you do not have any rights.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do sidewalks in an HOA community, with main streets dedicated to the township, need to be ADA compliant?

I live in an HOA community where main streets are owned by the Township. I am responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of my property. Between the sidewalk and the street is a 4' strip of grass considered common area where the developer planted street trees. These trees are 15+ yrs... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Aug 3, 2019

Yes you need to comply with the ADA

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