FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Homeowners in the Central Valley may not own what is underneath their property. The issue comes down to what’s called “mineral rights” and according to Bakersfield-based Pledger Law someone else may have the legal basis to claim the underground bounty.
Staff at the Kern County law firm say there could be repercussions when purchasing a property without the mineral rights – potentially creating a scenario where a mining company could set up its operation regardless of the impact it has on the surface owner’s property values.
Mineral rights would include any oil that may be underneath your property. That may be of interest to Fresno County homeowners after the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday collectively called for the increased production of oil within Fresno County and the wider State of California in response to the rising price of gas.
If you are interested in whether or not you own the mineral rights, officials at Fresno County say the assessor parcel number (a unique number assigned to each property) can help determine what the status is. For example, if the parcel number has the letter “S” at the end then that means someone else owns the mineral rights of at least a portion of the land.
Owning the mineral rights to your property may pay a handsome reward if there is oil buried deep underneath the ground. The state’s Department of Conservation recommends an official title search for homeowners to determine for certain whether or not the mineral rights were included when you originally purchased your property.
Read More: Why you might not own the oil under your house