Property rights are often perceived as complete ownership of a piece of land. But, there are specific limitations to it as well. Property rights are extended to the airspace above and the surface below, but government and related utilities can forcefully take a privately own land under the rule of expropriation. This rule allows the government to take your property against your consent. Many times, there occur instances where landowners seek help from law firms to help them resolves disputes regarding expropriation. In this article, we’ll discuss about what are your rights over your surface and limitations to it.
What are your rights on your land and limitations to it?
Surface Rights Act
Surface rights include the right to own the air above and the surface below a piece of land. It also includes the rights to hold the materials such as sand, gravel, marl, peat or clay. Surface rights do not include the ownership of mineral found in private property. The crown, such as government or utility is allowed to own rights over these minerals.
According to the common law, the person who holds the rights over mines and minerals has the rights to access the surface. But according to the recent developments in the Surface Right Act, there is a need for an operator who is supposed to take prior consent of the landowners before accessing the land. If the landowners deny providing access to the property, then the resource company can apply to the surface rights board. This board offers entry rights to the land, and it will determine compensation payable to the landowner.
Mineral Rights Act
The mines and mineral rights focus on the management and disposition of rights in minerals and mines owned by the crown. These rights also include the rights in petroleum, natural gas leases, and royalties. People who own mineral rights to a property, they may own one particular mineral, several minerals or all of the minerals. But, they do not own the rights over precious metals like gold, silver, and some other precious stones. The crown owns the absolute rights over these.
Our experienced team of lawyers at Prowse Chowne has been giving professional assistance to landowners whose land is forcibly taken by the government and utilities. If you seek professional assistance in matters of expropriation and surface rights, book a consultation at Prowse Chowne.