Sewage pipe liability
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Sewage pipe liability
I’m selling a home that is very old. I live next to a large university whose land our sewage pipes go through. They are 100 year old clay pipes and have broken twice on their property. It was cleaned up and repaired but from the repairs to the house it’s still the original pipe. While the university hasn’t taken any official or legal action against us , they threatened us with liens on our property if our pipe bursts on their property again. Our neighbors and I were planning on moving the pipe off of their property before I decided to sell. There is nothing wrong with the pipes right now other than there are a hundred years old. Is this something I have to fix, or does this even need to be disclosed? What is my liability if I sell this house and the pipe burst?
Asked on June 12, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Colorado
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
You are aware not only that the pipes are old but that they have already broken twice, and so are likely to break again, which could impose a significant repair cost; you are also aware of a reasonable or credible threat of litigation based on the condition of your sewer pipes, which litigation increases the potential cost and disruption of a break. Being aware of a material, or significant issue, you must dislose it; if you fail to do so and the buyer becomes aware (or suspects) you know about the problem, they could sue you based on "fraud" (on misrepresenting a known issue) for all their costs and liabilities.
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