Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Beware of Retention Ponds

I learned today that oftentimes when a lot next to a home has a sinkhole or is a ponding area for when it rains, that the homeowner can be responsible for maintenance of the lot. Sometimes the plat maps don't tell the whole truth. If you own a home next to a water retention area or culvert, go to the county records office and pick up a full printout of the neighborhood blueprint, complete with footnotes. And read the footnotes to see if they say, "Homeowner in Lot X responsible for maintenance of retention area." It could be a bitter surprise!

Here are what retention ponds typically look like, just in case you're wondering.



The really bad stuff. This sinkhole actually dropped in Guatemala City, killing three people. So while you're getting the neighborhood plat (with the small print on the second page), order a geographic survey, too.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger W said...

When they teach you how to design retention ponds they also teach you how to make someone responsible after the developer gets gone. I've never heard of it being called out as a particular homeowner's responsibility unless it's actually on their property. That's a new one for me. Usually they're supposed to become the responsibility of the HOA.

For credibility purposes....... I'm an engineer with a little experience in subdivision layout.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Kathy T. said...

It does depend on the developer. That's why you have to read the small print and be very careful if you own the lot next to one of these things. I just heard at my office of two cases where the homeowners were unaware that they had to maintain them ... they got a letter from the county, then got a copy of the plat layout for the whole subdivision complete with the fine print. But you're right... it SHOULD be designed to be the responsibilitly of the HOA. That would make much more sense.


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