Can we invoice a vacant owner for maintenance on a vacant lot in front of our house that we’ve been taking care of for 9+ years?

UPDATED: Aug 10, 2012

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Can we invoice a vacant owner for maintenance on a vacant lot in front of our house that we’ve been taking care of for 9+ years?

We’ve been maintaining the 1+ acre lot in front of our house for 9+ years since we didn’t know who/where the owner was and didn’t want an ugly, overgrown field to look at. The owner came to us and wanted to know if we wanted to buy it since he now wants to sell. If we had the money we would. Since he is selling it, can we invoice him for all of the time we have spent maintaining it?

Asked on August 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can invoice the owner of the vacant lot for the work that you did gratis for him or her over the past nine (9) years. However, I believe that this will irritate the owner as opposed to please him or her. If you want to buy the property, I suggest that you have a face to face meeting with the owner and negotiate price and terms where the owner can carry back the sale by way of a note and recorded trust deed.

Perhaps the work you did on the property may help in getting you a reduced price. The owner would have no legal obligation to pay you any submitted invoice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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