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Texas Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My neighbor connected their water utilities to my water meter, what can I do?

I purchased a vacant lot that has a water meter on it. I'll call my property lot 1. That water meter was listed with the city for both lots 1 and lot 2 since the previous owner owned both lots, the water meter is physically on my property. However lots 1&2 are now owned by different people... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Nov 19, 2021

It sounds like you have a trespass claim against your neighbor, and damages from any unrepaired trench on the property, as well as the cost of providing water to your neighbor, and possibly for the cost of installing a new water line and meter. Depending on the circumstances and expense, there may... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: How do I correct a light trespass in an unincorporated town in Texas?

Neighbor's wall pack security light encroaches onto our property.

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr. answered on Aug 23, 2021

Hi:

I would first suggest that you talk to your neighbor, who has the offending light. This may save you lots of time, trouble, and it is the right thing to do. . . if possible. I would like a more complete description of the light, the timing of it and other relative details, like whether...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Texas on
Q: If a homeowner passes & the heir does not claim the home or pay taxes can a neighbor acquire through adverse possession

The previous homeowner passed 4 years ago and the home has remained empty. The next of kin have shown no interest in the property. Can a neighbor care for the property (agricultural and house) and become the owner using an adverse possession claim?

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Aug 12, 2021

Yes, if you hold it exclusively for long enough. The minimum period in this situation would be 10 years.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning, Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I have a home on my grandmother's property that was left to be inherited by my mother and aunt equally. What happens?

Aunt wants me evicted. Mom wants me to stay. I cannot upgrade septic for house I own (no land payment agreement from deceased grandmother) or move mobile home onto same acreage without aunt's signature or do anything at all without causing a fuss. What do I do? Its a Ladybird will with no... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Jun 29, 2021

The property owners (your mother and aunt) both have rights to use the property, which include the right to lease it out. If there's a written lease, that will govern who can evict you and why. If there's not, you're a month to month tenant, and the oral lease agreement can be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Environmental, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Flooding rain water into our rental soaking a bedroom carpet. Management co. wants us to move out.

Offered another rental at a higher price with a year lease. What is their obligation to me. Regarding moving costs, and inconvenience etc

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 30, 2021

A Texas attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for a week, and it sounds like you are under pressure to make a decision. There's no guarantee all posts are picked up, but you could repost your question under the Landlord-Tenant category. You'd have better chances of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Can a driveway be shared equally between properties regardless of the number of owners of the properties?

My neighbor has a driveway with access to part of my land which they let me use anytime I want, but I want to make them a cash offer so that it gets permanently written into the city land records that these two properties equally share the driveway no matter who owns the properties. That way if I... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 10, 2021

Hire a competent attorney to draft a Joint Permanent Use Easement for all Parties to agree to.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: I live on a property with a man who is trying to do squatters rights. I live in a seperate trailer. He turned off part

Of my electric. I'm not sure he filled rights correctly either. How can I go about finding out and also is there a way to override his claim on the property.

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Apr 14, 2021

You don't mention what your rights or claim to the property are, or for that matter, what the basis of the other person's claim claim is. Without knowing both, it's impossible to answer your question.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Who is responsible for fixing erosion of land under the perimeter subdivision fence?

I have severe erosion under my rear fence which is the subdivision perimeter. The subdivision was developed 20 years ago and done with improper terracing around the sudivision. I built my house in 2005 through a home builder that bought lots within the subdivision. Of course, when we purchased our... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Jan 28, 2021

Sorry, the original developer isn't going to be responsible for something happening 20 years after they finished the development. The HOA may or may not be responsible - review the deed restrictions to determine their authority and responsibilities. It could be that this is something the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Vmp mortgage solutions is this VETERNANS MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS INC. IM SO CONFUSED WITH ALL THIS MORTGAGE COMPANY AND BOA?

I dont understand this the more I send to clear title on mortgage loan the boa sends to clerks to submit against me and there adding to what is already documented! Bexar County Clerks are allowing add ons and extension, refinance documents to be added to records already there. How is this happening... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 18, 2020

It appears that you need a competent Texas attorney to conduct a title search. Then with your belated Release, he should be able to discern how to properly clear your Title. The Release probably only affects some of your recorded instruments, and you may need more Releases.

2 Answers | Asked in Energy, Oil and Gas, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Is it legal that a company sell land without telling the buyer that an existing oil and gas lease exist
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 11, 2020

Certainly... It happens all the time. The buyer needs to do a title search prior to signing the contract, and certainly prior to paying over the price. If it is a warranty deed, check to see if the lease is listed on the face of the deed as an encumbrance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: As a recent property owner, there's a pipeline easement that was recently purchased by the developer.

They are requesting a "contribution" in a contract agreement to abandon the easement. Do I have to pay any "contribution" requested from the easement holder to abandon the easement? What are my options to terminate the easement that has not been in use for over 40 years and is no longer be needed.

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Nov 24, 2020

It sounds like the developer is trying to make arrangements for an agreement to abandon the easement. If they're asking for a "contribution" that sounds like a voluntary thing, but it's not clear where the easement runs. If you are one of the property owners across which the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: Can I walk my dog in a gated community that is at the end of my street if someone gave me the code to get inside?

There is a gated community at the end of my street. One day I went inside as my package was delivered to someone inside the gated community. I found a beautiful trail around lakes with waterfalls, and I began taking my dog in there for walks. I met another dog walker that gave me the code to get... Read more »

Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace answered on Nov 5, 2020

That dude sounds like a creep but legally he has a point. Just because a person invites you into their home or onto their property once doesn't mean you forever have a standing invitation to enter whenever you feel the urge.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Future inherited access rights to land lived on for free?

My daughter owns acreage in Travis County Texas. She has a friend, who no longer has any immediate family, who wants to move onto a piece of it. Drilling a well, installing septic and either moving in a mobile home style structure or a pre-fab. This friend, upon her passing (not expected in the... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 10, 2020

It sounds as though your daughter and her friend need a written agreement stating that (1) the friend will pay for septic and well in lieu of rent and (2) within a certain period following her death, the mobile home and all her possessions will have been removed by her heirs or beneficiaries or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Texas on
Q: How can I dispute or fight excessive cleaning charges on a rental?

We lived in the house for 18 months and the landlord is trying to charge almost $2000; $974 for landscaping/sod, $753 in carpet cleaning/pet dander, $135 in paint, and $120 in scratch repair. I know Texas law protects from reasonable wear and tear but the dogs were always kept in their kennels when... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 4, 2020

A Texas attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for four weeks. As a general matter, the dollar amount of your dispute might be out of proportion with legal fees if you hired an attorney to handle it on an hourly basis. A more cost-effective option to consider could be small claims... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My boyfriend lived with me for a month during my lease of 1 year. Can i get in trouble with this after my lease is up?

He was not on the lease and lease ended a week ago. However, I have a roommate who threatened to tell the landlord about this. Because the lease is now over, could I actually get in trouble for this?

Matthew Scott Williams
Matthew Scott Williams answered on Aug 7, 2020

Most likely - No, you aren't in trouble. However, some lease agreement state that a guest can only stay for a specific amount of time before they must be added to the lease. Check the lease agreement to be sure.

I would do what I could to prevent the roommate from "telling"...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Can I build residential property on land near railroad tracks in Texas?

I was looking to buy a land property in texas but was told I could not build residential estate because said property was near railroad tracks. I cant seem to find any information in regards to this law and I would like more information.

Thank you.

Matthew Scott Williams
Matthew Scott Williams answered on Aug 7, 2020

While it's true that you cannot build a residential dwelling on land not catagorized or "zoned" for residential development, you can petition the municipal / city permitting authority for re-categorization / re-zoning.

Our firm has helped several clients in the Houston area...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: How to I divide undivided interest before the estate gets passed down to my generation?

When my grandmother passed away, she left the family land to my cousins and I as undivided interest. Once all of her children pass away, the land is divided among the 12 of us. Her children no longer want to deal with the execution of the estate. How can I guarantee a portion of the property comes... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 18, 2020

That sounds like a Life Estate to her Children, then Remainder over to the 12 or their heirs. But I am not reading the Deed or the Probated Will of GrandMother. Hire a competent attorney to search the title, determine what exact type of conveyance it is, then draft a Quit Claim Deed for all the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Agricultural Law, Environmental and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: A neighbor is complaining the tanks in our cattle pasture overflow when it rains and flood his yard. What do we do?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 9, 2020

A Texas attorney could best address your question, but your post remains open for two weeks. If you contacted a few local attorneys, they could probably outline for you the liabilities and repercussions before you, as well as your rights. You could also explore what options are available to stop... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: Can I stop my neighbor from subdividing his land?

I own several acres of land. The neighbor behind me has 40. He uses an easment on my property to get to his land. He wants to subdivide his land. That would make the traffic on my land much busier and from what I understand I am responsible for maintaining the easement. Is there anything I can do... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Jan 9, 2020

Start by checking what type of easement he has and whether it gives him the right to subdivide his land and keep the same easement. I'm surprised he's not responsible to maintain the easement. You may want to take the deed regarding the easement to an attorney to review.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Property is in the "estate" of a deceased parent. How can we obtain legal ownership without a will?

We pay all bills and taxes associated with the property and household. There are two other siblings, who have not had anything to do with the property for nearly 20 years, and the spouse of the deceased is still living here but incapable of maintaining anything. The property was acquired before the... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Dec 27, 2019

The spouse will have a right to live their for the remainder of their life regardless of whether it was acquired before marriage.

Ownership of property technically transfers to the legal heirs upon the death of the present owner. If this is your parent and they owned the house before they...
Read more »

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