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View Diary: Why I Hate AT&T (123 comments)

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  •  If it were me, I would want to know their rights. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, Mr Robert, Sparhawk, skymutt

    Caveat:  I am not giving you legal advice, just outlining some principles that may or may not apply, and what I would want to know, if it were me.

    They may have just as much legal right to be there as any homeowner.  Often, a company like AT&T, that provides utilities like electricity, gas, telephone, internet, etc.  gets their right to occupy property through a servitude or right of way.  That means that, at some point, they bought from the landowner the permanent right to occupy that space for purposes of serving the public -- the same thing that applies when you see electricity poles, or highways, or any number of other things. Legally, they have bought from the landowner those rights, and when the landowner transfer that property to someone else, the transfer of property is subject to those rights.   People -- even real estate agents -- sometimes don't understand this.  They think a "servitude" or "right of way" next to my property just means I can't put my house there, but I still get to say what happens there.  It does not.  

    If their right predates my purchase of the house, then their right was available to me  when I bought the home. To be valid, it has to be recorded in the public records -- the same place where I can find out who owns the house I am buying and where I record my own property rights.

    I would tell anyone who wants to disturb what a utility like AT&T does on property that they should first find out if that utility has a legal, and valid, right to use that property for their own purposes.  If they do, the the person disturbing those rights (removing or disturbing something they put there, even something small) is vandalizing their property, the same as if someone spray painted the side of my home.  And yes, police do get involved in things like vandalism or disturbing someone's use of their property.

    I am not telling you whether they do, or do not, own those kinds of rights.  If it were me, however, before I did something to their property on a place like this, I would want to know if they have a legal right to be there and if what I am doing is illegally interfering with their rights.  

    •  Re (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, akeitz
      I am not telling you whether they do, or do not, own those kinds of rights.  If it were me, however, before I did something to their property on a place like this, I would want to know if they have a legal right to be there and if what I am doing is illegally interfering with their rights.  
      Preferably to be done before buying the property.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 11:04:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly this is true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk

        Not to kick a person when they are down -- let this be a lesson to all -- before you close on a house make sure the property is surveyed and all easements noted on the survey map.  Fortunately for me it's straightforward where I live -- the county owns a few feet from the street where they could choose to add sidewalks and there's an easement for a utility pole in the southeast corner of my yard.

        Frustratingly though not as bad as the diarist the @#$%&* utility companies have left in place a broken pole (apparently there had been teenagers drag racing and one car ran into the pole) alongside the replacement pole.  Looks like everyone but Dominion Electric have moved to the new pole.  This was the case when I moved in apparently it's been the case for at least 30 years despite the attempts of a neighbor to fix this before I even bought the house.  

        I fear that budget cuts leading to crappy snow removal will lead to cars careening into the pole to bring it down for good.  But I've feared this for ten years and not even the winter of 2009-2010 got the pole so maybe it's ugly but safe. SIGH.

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