BUYER BEWARE OF POSSIBLE IMPENDING WATER/SEWAGE LIEN...
While I can not speak for the rest of the country I can tell you that in Toledo, Ohio a new buyer should beware of a possible impending water/sewage lien on their newly purchased home.
Due to the fact that water and sewer bills can become a lien against a property unlike electric and gas bills, I have always made it a practice to contact the water division shortly before closing to see if there may be any pending water liens on a property my client is purchasing, saving my clients thousands of dollars in unknown future liens against their property. One case of my buyer purchasing a house that was previously purchased by an investor who fixed it up for resale. Imagine the investors surprise when he found out that he had purchased a property that had a lienable water/sewage bill of over $4000.00 on it, that had not been processed until after he purchased the property.
If there is a pending water/sewage lien, I have had them appear on the HUD1 settlement statement as a charge to the seller, as the purchase contract states that the property "...shall show record title to be good and marketable in the name of the Seller, free and clear from material defects, liens and encumbrances..."
The Division of Utilities in Toledo, Ohio billing practices many times run behind the transfer of the property and this is not picked up in a title search and is an exception to title insurance coverage. Your newly purchased property could potentially have a water lien placed upon it for water/sewer usage well before you ever owned it, months after your closing.
Kudos to Lucas County Ohio Auditor, Anita Lopez , for stepping up to the plate and addressing this issue. You can read more about her stance on the issue at http://toledoblade.com/article/20100429/NEWS16/4290382
At this time, nothing has been finalized is correcting this long running problem so please be sure to work with a Realtor® or real estate agent that is going the extra mile and checking into possible future water liens against the property you are purchasing.
Connie Johns, is a Realtor® serving the real estate needs of buyers and sellers in Toledo, Maumee, Perrysburg, Holland, Sylvania, Rossford, Northwood, Oregon, Waterville, and Whitehouse, Ohio. If you would like more information on properties available in these areas or are looking for someone to answer your real estate questions, please give me a call at 419-349-4948 or visit www.conniejohns.com
Originally posted at: www.conniejohns.com