Introducing Littoral Rights Guide in US for 2024

Property rights extend beyond just land. They may also cover privileges for nearby elements, like a body of water. It’s important for beachfront property owners to grasp the concept of littoral rights. Here’s an overview of littoral rights and important information for property owners.

What Are Littoral Rights?

Littoral rights involve the legal rights related to the use of water bodies that border a landowner’s property. Specifically, littoral rights involve utilizing any pooled or standing body of water, like an ocean, sea, lake, or pond. Understanding littoral rights is crucial because they grant landowners the privilege to utilize adjacent bodies of water. For instance, if you buy oceanfront property with littoral rights, you can use the beach that borders the water and have unrestricted access to the body of water. You will have sole access to the beachfront area up to the median high water mark.

Developers frequently acquire littoral rights when constructing vacation homes, hotels, and other tourist destinations. Without these rights, homeowners or visitors would not have the freedom to access the beach next to the body of water, which greatly reduces its attractiveness. Littoral rights can significantly enhance a property’s value by providing an extra feature that makes it more appealing to potential buyers or customers.

Littoral Rights Example

Another typical illustration of littoral rights involves the ability to construct a personal dock or pier on a water body adjacent to your land. It’s crucial to note that littoral access rights have limitations, meaning you cannot build a large dock of any size. Make sure any structure you construct near the water is the right size to support your private use and enjoyment, as littoral rights guarantee your access to the body of water.

Littoral Rights & Littoral Land

Coastal land is the area next to a body of water, while coastal rights are the rights to use that land. Littoral rights usually involve having free access to the nearby water but only owning the property up to the high watermark. Without these rights, the property owner cannot freely use the littoral land.

For instance, if your house is located next to a private beach. Without the rights to access the land, you would still need permission from the owner to access the beach freely. Littoral rights allow you to freely use the land as you wish, making it a major draw for many buyers.

Also Read: Colorado Eviction Laws and Process You Should Know in 2024

Littoral Rights vs Riparian Rights

Many people often mix up littoral rights with another concept known as riparian rights, which are closely related but have some distinctions. Riparian rights involve the rights to land that borders a moving body of water, like a river, creek, or stream. Land adjacent to a body of water like an ocean, sea, or lake is subject to littoral rights.

The fundamental concept stays consistent – the individual with these rights can utilize the water and surrounding land as they wish. However, the distinction lies in whether the water is moving or stationary. Coastal land is commonly known as “oceanfront” or “beachfront” property, while riverfront land is often referred to as “riverfront” property.

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