There are a number of rights that may or may not be separated from land ownership. Before you purchase a piece of land, you should look into whether or not you will have the following rights:

Surface Rights

A landowner has a right to occupy the surface of his/her land.

Subterranean Rights

A landowner has a right to valuable things (such as oil, minerals, and any other substances) found beneath the land’s surface.

Air Rights

A landowner has a right to the air above and below his/her to a reasonable extent.

Vegetation Rights

A landowner has a right to plant trees, crops, and other vegetation on his/her land.

Improvement Rights

A landowner has a right to improve and place fixtures on his/her land (such as a shed or a patio).

Right to Lateral and Subjacent Support

A landowner has a right to stop his/her neighbors from excavating or otherwise changing their land such that it would damage his/her land and/or building.

Right to Be Free Of Public Or Private Nuisances

A landowner has a right to request a court order to stop non-consented interference with his/her enjoyment of the land. Examples of nuisances include pollution, noxious odors, and excessive noise.

Riparian Rights

A landowner has a right to use the natural waterway within his/her land.

Are There Limits to How a Landowner May Exercise These Rights?

Yes. For one, a landowner usually may not exercise his/her rights in a way that will interfere with another landowner’s rights.

Furthermore, government may impose zoning law and special building law that will limit how a landowner may use his/her land. The government may even exercise the power of eminent domain and take away a landowner’s land.

There may also be private restrictions place on the deed of the land between the buyer and the seller, and these restrictions will usually be valid unless they contradict public policy.

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