It would only seem natural if you purchase or lease some land, everything on and below that land is yours to use. Unfortunately, thinking like that is wrong and you CAN purchase or rent land WITHOUT RESOURCE RIGHTS.
Before you become that poor sap that purchased expensive land without being able to benefit from it, make sure that you know what rights you have on the property, before you buy.
Zoning of your property is important. Although I don’t agree with it, you need specific zoning for different ventures you want to take on your property.
Think of this as the county or city giving you permission to use the location for farming, but not for building an Auto-Body Shop.
Based on what you plan to do with your property, make sure you have the proper zoning.
If you buy a plot of land in the mountains, you may have iron ore “in them hills!” Or if you purchase some property in Texas, you may have oil under it.
Many times, the state or certain private companies will purchase the land to get the mineral rights, then sale the land to you without the rights.
Conservation groups or the local government may have use restrictions on water if yours is in a specific area. Something as simple as the ability to use your own creek water could be ruined by not owning the rights to the resource.
Even better, you can be forced to stop doing something, or even be fined, if your neighbor gets mad that your project reduced his water availability downstream from you. You also always need to consider the downstream properties and how you will affect them. If you ruin their creek bed or pond because of a project, you can be sued.
If you lease land, you need to get all of your rights to the property in writing. It isn’t your land and you better have something iron-clad to protect you in civil court.
If you are going to improve the land, get permission to do so in writing. Consider adding that you will be refunded the cost of the improvements off of your lease, because you don’t want to do a bunch of work for your landlord and not reap benefits from it.
Even if you get a good deal, you may be better off spending a little more to have full access to all your resources. I personally want ALL of the rights to my land.
When leasing land cover your butt, ask permission, get it in writing, and try to get compensation for improvements made.
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