Purchasing property for real estate development can be a lucrative step for developers. However, it is necessary to ensure that those who purchase the property and those who purchase the property after development understand certain property rights. In particular, if a development project is taking place on a Florida lakefront, oceanfront or riverfront, it is essential to understand littoral or riparian rights.
Littoral and riparian rights both refer to the rights of landowners in relation to the body of water near which their property sits. Some key information to remember in regard to water rights includes:
- Littoral rights refer to the water rights relating to a standing body of water, such as a lake or ocean.
- Riparian rights refer to the water rights relating to moving bodies of water, such as streams, creeks or rivers.
- Though a person may own property on a waterfront, it is important to note that water rights do not always automatically correspond with the ownership of the land.
For example, if a person buys a lakefront home, that owner may have littoral rights to the lake. These rights could allow the landowner to have unrestricted access to the lake. However, these rights differ from area to area, and they are often a point of contention in certain communities.
If Florida residents have recently purchased or are looking to purchase oceanfront, riverfront or lakefront property and are concerned about their littoral or riparian rights, it is important that they gain reliable information. In some cases, those rights could be contested, or owners may not be given the rights to which they are entitled. As a result, having the right real estate help from the start could prove beneficial.