Will we still have well water rights after my mother's property has been sold? 3 Answers as of October 09, 2013

Our well is on property that belonged to my mother. After her death, my sister and her husband continued to live in the house on the property. They lost the house to foreclosure approximately 6 months ago. We think that the house has been sold. We have a notarized letter on file at the court house in the register of deeds office, which states that we have rights to the well on the property. Does the new owner have to abide by the letter, or are we facing the probability of having to get a new well?

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Under Nevada law the well usually goes with the owner of the residence if it is a domestic well.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/9/2013
Janke Legal Consulting | Bruce C. Janke
I don't understand why this is posted on the Foreclosure Defense page. But, what you claim to have is called an appurtenant easement. If your mother, or a previous owner of the property, duly conveyed and recorded a deed granting the easement to you, then all subsequent purchasers take the property "subject to" the easement, meaning they have to honor it. The only possible problem I see is that the "letter" filed in the registrar's office might not meet the legal requirements of a valid deed. You should have the document reviewed by an attorney experienced in real estate law. If everything is in order, then you should make sure your new neighbors are aware of the easement so they don't inadvertently do something to interfere with it. When they bought the property, they no doubt did a title search, which should have turned up your easement. One purpose of recording deeds is to give notice of this sort of thing to potential buyers so they can take it into consideration in deciding whether to buy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/7/2013
The Law Offices of Mark Wm. Hofgard, Esq.
The Law Offices of Mark Wm. Hofgard, Esq. | Mark Hofgard
The answer to your question will be determined by whether water rights have been severed from and are separate from the surface property rights that have been foreclosed upon prior to the date of the mortgage. The deeds and deed of trust will need to be examined to determine dates, parties, interests conveyed, etc. Most deeds of trust cover all mineral and water rights owned by the debtor, so a careful analysis is necessary here.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/4/2013
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