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Shared Well And Septic Agreements

by | Jan 17, 2019

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Shared well and septic agreements are fairly common in rural parts of Idaho, Washington, and Montana.

Well And Septic Systems In Rural Areas
When municipal water and sewage services aren’t available, homeowners are forced to turn to wells to access groundwater and septic systems to treat wastewater. Often, these well and septic systems are used by more than one lot (owner). If this is the case, there should be a well and/or septic agreement in place that will remain valid, even when ownership of one or more of the lots is transferred.

Agreement In Place For Shared Well And Septic
If you’re considering buying a property that has a shared well and septic agreement, you’ll want to make sure that there’s a shared agreement in place. If not, get one BEFORE you purchase the property. The well and septic agreement should cover provisions that address the cost of operating and maintaining the well and septic system – and who will pay for what.

You’ll also want to check to see that easements are recorded on the deed that allow you access to, as well as use of the well and septic system.

Due Diligence When Buying A Property With Shared Well And Septic
To perform further due diligence when buying a property with a shared well and septic system, check the condition, maintenance history (and even construction) of the well and septic system. You can ask the seller’s real estate agent to provide a well log. You can also hire a licensed well contractor to perform a well inspection. Under federal guidelines for mortgage insurance, there are minimum standards (for water quality and minimum flow) that shared wells have to meet.

Review Or Drafting Of A Shared Well And Septic Agreement
If you’re looking to buy a property that has a shared well and septic system, we’d be happy to review the agreement. Or, if you need a shared well and septic agreement written for a property that you own or are considering buying, we’d be happy to do that, too.

A shared well and septic agreement will typically cover a range of issues, including:

  • cost sharing for power, repairs, tests, inspections, disinfections, and other items
  • repair of leaks
  • permission for water sampling
  • corrective measures if there’s a water quality issue
  • ongoing water service to all parties who are part of the agreement
  • prohibition of certain types of water usage (such as filling a swimming pool or watering a lawn)
  • stipulations as to whether other lots/residences can connect to the system
  • easements for all elements of the well and septic system

As you can see, something that might seem simple can quickly become complicated if there isn’t a written well and septic agreement in place, or if some of the terms or wording in the agreement are vague or open to interpretation. Don’t take any chances – let us review or draft a well and septic agreement for you!

At Timely Contract, we have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Idaho, including: Boise, Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, Moscow, and Sandpoint.

We also have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Montana, including: Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, and Kalispell.

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