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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38322
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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Are you able to answer questions about property in Kentucky?

Customer Question

Are you able to answer questions about property in Kentucky?
JA: No. I'm the Lawyer's Assistant.
Customer: ok. Is the lawyer able to answer questions about property in Kentucky?
JA: I think they do a wonderful job. All Experts must pass our rigorous 8 Step Expert Quality Process. This ensures that you get the most knowledgeable, trustworthy help anywhere on the Internet. You can learn more about it here: http://ww2.justanswer.com/expert-quality-process
Customer: I am purchasing property in Kentucky and just found out there is a severed mineral deed dating back to 1905.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: yes, it is recorded with the county PVA. It was discovered during a title search.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I just want to know what my rights are as the surface owner.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 3 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  Ray replied 3 months ago.

Well the problem here is that if this is acreage then the oil company could drill on it and you would not have any input.I would check to see if it is leased currently.You can do this by talking to your county tax assessor to see who the mineral owner is and whether there is a lease on file.If the property is leased or producing there will be taxes due against it.

If it not leased and there are no wells you may decide to take your chances.Very few properties are sold these days with minerals intact.That is not uncommon to sell the surface and someone else retains the minerals.It is a deal breaker here only if you find it is leased,, then you may want to reconsider.If the contract included minerals then you would have right to cancel contract because the seller here doesn't own minerals.

So do some more research , your title company should also be able to help--if there is a mineral lease they will have records too.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
there is a deed for the gas/oil and a deed for coal. If I do get the property is there any way for me to control the easement or recoup money for surface damage? What counts as an existing structure when looking at the distance a company could drill? There is no surface water, so would the drilling company have to pay me for access to the water?
Expert:  Ray replied 3 months ago.

You would be able to recoup against oil company for surface damages to your property.They can not damage the surface, if they do you can sue here.

Thanks again.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
what constitutes damage? In my eyes, if the property is altered in any fashion from the current state it is damaged. If they cut timber for access, do I get to sell it? Can I dictate where the access points are? It is not a lease and there is no activity on the property for mining. From your answers it seems as if I need to just hire another attorney, separate from the landman I already have, and look in to it more.
Expert:  Ray replied 3 months ago.

Thats a fact issue, if they cut timber, made roads, etc all might fall under damages.

Reference to case law

http://law.justia.com/cases/kentucky/court-of-appeals/1960/346-s-w-2d-718-1.html

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
with this deed being done in 1905, it is quite basic and does not address the issues of today. I am worried about a future company coming on the land and taking the mineral/gas/oil and leaving roads and equipment behind. I also am concerned about the water on the property. We would be getting our water from a well, if they drill a well to supply the water needed for mining, how do I ensure our water remains safe? Since the mineral deed owners do not own the water rights, can I charge them for using the water?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
KY law states they can't mine or drill within 300 feet of an existing structure. What is the legal definition of a structure in this case?
Expert:  Ray replied 3 months ago.

Well it would include a house or barn.And you would have grounds to terminate the contract if the property description did not read surface only.You have legitimate concerns here.As you can see from the case this can get real ugly if they drill and have to make roads or frac the well.You may want to consider walking away. I would be concerned.Typically you want some small amount of minerals here even 10 % so you have some say in all this.