I acquired a property through the tax lien process. Due to the circumstances, neither a full inspection nor seller disclosure was possible. There was water in the basement even though no one had been living in the house for some time. I talked with the next door neighbor who reported on-going sewer problems in the area. I contacted the city. They couldn’t tell me anything. The city maps showed there were two, possibly three ways my house could connect to the city sewer. The city did finally say that this house was on a “private sewer line” that the city was unaware of and took no responsibility for. Apparently some years (40 plus years) ago they allowed contractors to build sewer lines and hook them into the city mains. That began a process of working with the city.
My house had an outside clean out. I hired a plumber to clean it out. There was another clean-out in the neighbor’s yard next to the city street. After cleaning out my line, the water began to run out the clean out next to the street. The plumber then tried to clean out the line that went under the street. It was so clogged he couldn’t get through it. Since that was under the city street, I again went to the city. They sent out a crew and dug to find the line. Multiple roots were found and again they claimed no responsibility for fixing or maintaining the “private line”. I hired the plumber to clean and camera the existing line. He could get under the street and about twenty feet further before hitting another clog. I contacted the city council representative who guided me through the process. After public hearings and council discussions, the city acknowledged the existence of the private sewer line and they would work on a solution. That process took fifteen months and as of now the city is regularly cleaning the line. At present, I have marginal service.
The interesting part of real estate investing is the variety of circumstances you will encounter.
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