Officials Want Family to Bulldoze $900k House Over Faulty Sewage System Officials Initially Approved

Homeownership is a goal that many Americans aspire to. One family in Farmington Hills, Michigan, however, is being penalized for capitalizing on what seemed to be a good investment.

Homeowner Sukhpal Dhillon bought a foreclosed home worth $900,000 in 2008. But less than a decade later he is being told to bulldoze it at his own expense. The reason: a faulty sewer system.

When Dhillon first bought his home, it passed multiple government inspections by the City of Farmington Hills and the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, but that didn’t stop the government from later calling his home an “obstruction” to an aging sewer system. The home sits on top of a manhole capped by the home’s basement cement, and government claims it needs access to it to fix what could become a sinkhole.

This isn’t the first time the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office has gone after property owners. According to the Detroit Free Press, in 2004, it sued the Royal Oak Woman’s Club claiming an elevator added to the back of the building encroached on a drain easement. The Detroit Free Press reports, “Oakland County Circuit Judge Wendy Potts confirmed the easement but declined to force the club to remove its elevator. Potts wrote that there was no evidence that the construction damaged the drain in any way and the commissioner’s office didn’t show that it was unable to maintain the drain. Despite the construction of the elevator, then-Drain Commissioner John McCulloch called the ruling a victory that protected the easements.”

Moving the pipes could cost as much as the house is worth. But this case goes to show that even after “proper” licensing and inspections, the government is still ruthless in its attempts to deprive people of their property. The homeowners have countersued.

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