Surface Rights

Yea um,

So I got a call asking if I’d be willing to sell my land for 3,000.00 an acre. But then I received a message stating that I only owned surface rights.

Think I’m able to get anything out of that?

NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 pf the SW 1/4 of Section 4 Block 112


Garry S.

$3000/acre for surface rights…that’s what you can get. What have you got? 5, 10, 20 acres? How bad do you need the money?

ol’Lawrence in Verhalen

With surface rights you can collect on Rights of Way for pipelines or pads for drilling. With surface rights goes water rights…so you can make a deal to collect a percentage of water sales for fracking or water based drilling mud. Being a surface land owner only is not such a bad deal.



Thanks Lawrence. I needed to know that information too. By the way some land owners (like myself)have lots of “diffrent” situations making regular visits to reeves county very difficult and/or near impossible. Your eye witness accounts are a blessing. I have a situation with my top land rights possibly developing. Your advice for me personaly has been invaluable. I keep a close eye on the property electronicly, but nothing can make up for first hand accounts. Thank you so much.



You’re always knowledgeable about these things. Glad I was advised to join the forums! I currently own 10 acres. Nothing big. And I’m not so in need of money that I’m willing to sell it immediately (unless the offer was right). Sad thing is, they thought I owned the mineral rights, so they declined the offer.

Right of Way for pipelines, pads for drilling and water rights? Just like Melissa, I had no knowledge of this! Had I not read this post, I would have been discouraged at having been a surface owner. Again, your information truly is invaluable.

Will continue to monitor for any more (legitimate) offers, and what else I’m able to do with the land.


Garry S.

My brother sold his mineral rights. My sister and I did not.

Does that mean my brother still has surface rights?

We inherited 26.66 acres that were split 3 ways giving us 8.889 each.


Susan Titus

What rights your brother sold depend on the exact wording of the deed that he signed.

What constitutes a hostial take over? Can one owner of equally devided, inharreted land , force a sale of surface from other owners? A 1/4 owner, not related wants to buy part of the surface from 3/4 other owners(family) I presume to own hwy property frontage.

Generally, a co-owner of the surface can only “force” a sale by filing a lawsuit. The court could order the surface to be subdivided so each owner gets an equal share of the surface. It would take into account the issue of access, road frontage, available utilities, etc that are raised by the owners. So the surface might not simply be divided into equal-acre tracts. I have a friend whose large acreage was divided into 3 parts by an appraiser and they drew straws for the order in which to select their parcels. Or the court could order the sale of the surface with the proceeds to be divided among the owners. As co-owners, each party can use the surface without excluding the others. For example, you would each have the right to graze a cow on the surfac. One owner might want to build a fence or barn that would benefit all and there could be issues about whether the others have to pay for the improvement. You might want to consult an attorney about your situation and rights.

Thank you for the advice. From what I can asertain, the 1/4 owner, not family, wants to buy the land and lease it to a cable company and I assume, to what ever else kind of buisiness. So far, no surveys have been done. One portion has major road frontage on us 10 and 17 and in the clover leaf on 10. Under what kind of situation could these people force a sale? What kind of lawsuite would they file? If the land is formally divided and cable lines are put through my portion, can I collect revenue for their use of my property? If the other 2 family members sell a few of their acers, will that affect the amount of surface I own?

It is a partition action. You can also voluntarily agree to partition the surface into separate parcels. Of course, the problem is that not every acre is as valuable, such as the frontage acreage is likely to be more valuable for commercial use. The cable lines would be part of a longer easement so that is different. If you own 1/4 of 40 undivided surface acres, then you own 10 net surface acres. Your ownership is not affected by sales by the other co-owners. You really need to consult an attorney. Good luck.

Thank you again for the advice.