How Can I Enforce My Property Rights?

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We bought a lot in Maine and built a house 20 years ago. The lot was surveyed by the seller .It was all legal. It is a lakefront lot and we followed all rules for a septic and drilled a well. Our next door neighbor seem to have a shed partly built on our property where he also somehow had dug his own septic and he drew water from the lake. They built their rustic, uninsulated camp in 1947 and has only 75 feet of frontage on the tiny lot .No place for a real septic and well. I would think until their daughter moved there with her husband 5 mos. ago. They also started making ice cream and selling it. We arrived at our property this week and found a well head on our property and a pipe from their camp house going across the driveway onto a small pond that only fills up with water when we have rain. This usually ends up in our cellar which has a sump pump. It seems like they have installed a toilet in their camp and are draining it into the small pond partly on our property. No one have even approached us about this. We live out of state,but our house is a full winter house Their camp is approximately 20-30 feet from the water and does not by any means have the right allotments to install septic or a well. They have a permit signed by the owner himself to make alterations. They have told us in the past that they are grandfathered and would have all the rights on their side if they wanted to install water or septic system. We are upset about their nerve to go ahead and drill on our property and obviously pollute the land and the lake. What kind of actions can we take ? Should we have the lot resurveyed, Contact a code enforcement officer and ask them to remove the well and the shed, put up a fence ?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

It sounds like you need to get more information before you make a decision. Your neighbor, who has a vested interest, has told you that they are grandfathered and have the right to do certain things. I wouldn’t take their word for it. The town or county (whoever handles permitting) ought to be able to talk to you about what is allowed at that property and what isn’t. Once
you have that information, you’ll have a basis for deciding what to do
next.



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Author: House Attorney