Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
What do you know about mineral rights in Texas? Most people have no idea what mineral rights versus surface rights are. Texas land is rich with resources such as oil, natural gas, and various other minerals. Due to this rich composition, property ownership in Texas is subject to numerous oil, gas, and mineral rights laws that may affect the property on which these resources are found. Mineral rights laws can be complex, leaving property owners confused about ownership and access rights, and numerous other areas of concern.
Mineral Rights vs. Surface Rights
Mineral rights are the rights to mineral deposits that exist under the surface of a piece of property. This right normally belongs to the owner of the surface estate; however, in Texas those rights can be transferred through sale or lease to a second party.
Understanding the difference between the mineral estate and the surface estate is critical to understanding mineral rights. The surface estate is the visible land at the surface. The mineral estate is any minerals contained within that land or below the surface. As you can see, these two estates are not the same, which is how mineral rights can be sold or leased to another party.
Transfer of Mineral Rights
Property can be purchased with rights to both estates; however, ownership of the surface estate does not guarantee rights to the mineral estate below the surface. Do you see how mineral and surface rights become complicated, and why unsuspecting landowners may get less than they expect to when purchasing a piece of land? When not specified, mineral estates normally pass to the owner of the surface estate. It is also possible for landowners to sell the surface estate while retaining their rights of ownership in the mineral estate.
An owner of the mineral estate can lease their rights to companies to extract minerals from below the surface, which oftentimes requires access through the surface estate. When buying land, property law attorneys advise that it is critical that the mineral rights being sold with the property are actually owned by the person selling the surface estate. That particular person must own those rights in order to transfer them with the sale of the surface estate.
Valuation of Mineral Rights
Calculating the valuation of mineral rights is a complex process because it depends on several variables, including the location of the land, minerals noted to be within the land, accessibility, proximity to other resources, and various other factors. Negotiating factors for buying or leasing mineral rights also include a contract regarding the way in which resources may be accessed, and how much disruption of the surface estate is permitted, as well as who will pay for any excess or unplanned surface damage while digging for any potential mineral resources.
If it’s not abundantly clear at this point, buying land in Texas with minerals and other natural resources can be a profitable venture. However, it can also come with its share of complications and legal intricacies. Property owners, and those looking to buy property, should discuss purchase plans with an experienced property law attorney that’s well versed in mineral rights. It is crucial to determine who who owns which estate, and whether accession of deposits on owned land is legal, as well as who is responsible for any damage caused during the process. When in doubt, consult with a local attorney before purchasing land in Texas.
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question… Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
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