Rural Real Estate: Do You Need a Shared Well Agreement?

a rural property that is likely the party of a shared well agreement

DisclaimerThis article on whether you need a shared well agreement is intended for the purpose of providing information only. It is to be used only for the purposes of guidance. This article is not intended to be relied upon as the giving of legal advice and does not purport to be exhaustive.

Our firm handles many real estate transactions – from helping families purchase their first home in Hamilton to handling the unique challenges of purchasing rural real estate, such as in Owen Sound. 

Rural real estate has its own unique challenges. Many lenders require specific documents before approving a mortgage, such as a survey of the property and a septic tank inspection. 

One of those complexities is the existence of shared wells. 

Your rural property may have water provided by a well instead of the municipal water supply. You may even have a shared well, meaning that the well on one property provides water to neighbouring properties. 

This article will discuss how this affects your purchase and how to protect your interests.

a rural property that would need a shared well agreement

Buying a home with a shared well

If you are considering buying a home with a shared well, you should consider several factors. Firstly, it’s crucial to determine if there is a shared well agreement in place. 

If there is no shared well agreement in place

In some cases, a shared well agreement may not exist, which can create problems down the line. Without an agreement, there may be confusion about who is responsible for maintenance and repairs, or disagreements about water usage. It’s important to ensure that a shared well agreement is in place before finalizing your purchase.

If the other parties refuse to sign an agreement or you cannot agree on the terms, it may be necessary to explore other options. 

What if there is a shared well agreement in place?

If there is, you will need to obtain a copy of the shared well agreement. Review it carefully with a lawyer to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities. The agreement should outline who is responsible for maintenance and repairs, how the parties will split costs, and any limitations on water usage.

Secondly, it’s important to assess the condition of the shared well and the water quality. If the well or water quality is in poor condition, you may need to negotiate repairs or upgrades with the other parties.

It is essential to consider the potential risks associated with a shared well. When multiple parties use the same water distribution system, there is a risk of contamination or overuse. 

It’s also important to note that shared well agreements can limit your ability to expand or modify your property. For example, consider how the agreement will handle a situation if one of the properties serviced by the will wants to install and fill a swimming pool, you may need to get permission from the other property owners who use the well. The agreement may also limit your ability to drill a new well or expand the existing one.

Title Restrictions for Shared Well Agreements

Access to a neighbouring property – such as a shared driveway – is typically formalized by registering an easement on title and having an easement agreement. 

Currently, there are no provisions to register a shared well agreement on title. However, we still strongly encourage you to have such an agreement prepared. The agreement would then be kept and would pass on from owner to owner. 

Make Your Next Real Estate Transaction A Success With Beeskma Law

Beeksma Law is a trusted and experienced law firm that has helped many families purchase properties – including rural properties. Our team of experienced legal professionals can provide you with expert legal advice and guidance throughout the buying process. We will help you make informed decisions and protect your rights.

Contact our offices today to discuss your transaction. 

Leave a Reply