If a city issued a building permit for a garage which was built over a gas main, what do we do if the gas company now wants to move the gas line?

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If a city issued a building permit for a garage which was built over a gas main, what do we do if the gas company now wants to move the gas line?

We bought a house 10 years ago that has a 2-car garage which sits partially on city land. However, the city gave the previous owner a building permit and even had it inspected according to the records. Now, the local gas company claims it sits on top of gas main and told us it costs $9000+ to get it removed from underneath the garage floor. We knew the previous owner’s contractor had the gas line checked out but we don’t know if he still chose to build the garage on top of the gas line or not. Who should be responsible for the cost of removing the gas line? Can we challenge the cost estimate? Should the city be responsible?

Asked on November 3, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak with a real estate attorney in your area regarding this matter.  You have a lot of issues here and the biggest one may be your right to relief as against the running of a statute of limitations.  I am assuming that there exists a problem with the gas line.  It would appear on the outset that it is owned and should be maintained by the City.  But that is not always the case once you delve deeper in to the situation.  It does indeed seem ridiculous that a permit would be issued and construction permitted without proper clearance.  Someone needs to review the records in their entirety and research the law in order to give you a reasonable answer here.  Good luck.


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