Mineral rights question in Tarrant County?

Asked by Aaron, Fort Worth, TX Mon Nov 24, 2008

I purchased a home in Tarrant county in 2006. Originally the owners wanted to retain mineral rights in the contract, but I had that removed before entering the contract. Later, one of my neighbors asked me if I had received a letter requesting to lease my rights and I had not. I contacted the leasing company and they looked into it for me. Turns out the previous owners signed a 3 year lease with them 15 days prior to closing and received the $2,500 bonus and royalty rights. Is that legal and how can someone else receive royalties on mineral rights they no longer own? Shouldn't the lease be transferred upon sale of a home and mineral rights?

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Charles Reid, , 76092
Tue Sep 1, 2009
The title company would have no way of knowing about the lease unless the seller told them since leases are not filed in the deed records. If there was no reservation of mineral rights in the deed and if the sellers owned some or all of the mineral rights then whatever they owned transferred at time of sale. That does not include the previously paid bonus payment.
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Snoopcatt, , Fort Worth, TX
Thu Aug 27, 2009
I'm a broker, not an attorney. As I understand it, they were technically within their rights to sign a lease with a gas company prior to closing. Technically, if the mineral rights were not reserved within the contract, then at closing you would become the beneficiary of the mineral rights lease that was signed and you can contact the lessor and have them assign the future benefits to you with evidence of closing and transfer. The issue is not of transfer of mineral rights but of failure to disclose a material change to the value of the property before closing. You would have had every right to believe that you could be expecting a future bonus on the property as part of the value of the property when you bought it. It sounds like they moved forward with it after inspections were done and you would have no way of knowing the material change until you reached the title company where it could have been discovered had it shown up on the title. In my opinion, you have a cause of action.
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Tue Nov 25, 2008
Aaron.....from a lay person's point of view I think you are on the right track from my understanding of oil and gas and real estate law. However I am not an attorney and that's the best place we can point you is in the direction of an attorney.
In my opinion once they signed a contract with you, they should not have signed a contract with the exploration company.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
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T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Nov 24, 2008
Here is an attorney that gives a free initial consultation.


Please let us know the outcome.

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Aaron, , Fort Worth, TX
Mon Nov 24, 2008
Thanks to all for the info. I wouldn't have even known about mineral rights if it had not been specifically stated in the orignal contract, as this was my first home purchase. I had the realtor remove the request for the seller to retain rights, but they did not specifically state to transfer the rights to me, as I was told it was not needed. I asked again, during final sit down with the title company, if mineral rights were transferred and they basically told me the same thing about not being specifically addressed, then the rights would be transferred to me. I pulled the OPR for my title transfer and the OPR for the sellers lease agreement via Tarrant county website. Do attorneys charge consultation fees and if so does anyone know a ballpark figure?
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DiAnne Arnet…, Agent, Benbrook, TX
Mon Nov 24, 2008
Hi Arron,
The mineral rights should be reflected in the title policy. I would suggest a consultation with an attorney.
It could be that you have future mineral rights, but if they signed before the finalized contract with you, they may have been able to transfer future rights, while collecting the bonus and right to the current lease which they had the right to enter into prior to the sale of the property. This is a question for an attorney.
DiAnne Arnette
Fort Worth agent
Web Reference:  http://www.diannearnette.com
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T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Nov 24, 2008
Aaron, It seems like you need to hire an attorney. Sounds like deception from the part of the seller.

It has been my opinion that mineral rights agreements should be recorded with the county for this exact purpose and they will come up in any title search.

Web Reference:  http://www.sumnerrealty.com
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Lucy Puniwai, Agent, Haslet, TX
Mon Nov 24, 2008
Realtors cannot provide legal advice as it pertains to mineral rights. One thing that stood out in your description of the problem was that mineral rights were removed from the contract. Are there signatures indicating the mineral rights were to be transferred to specifcally,you, the Buyer?
Mineral rights are not automatically transferred and has been the "deal breaker" in several transactions in which I represented the Buyer.
If in fact, there are signatures indicating that you own the mineral rights, hire an attorney.
Best of luck to you!
Lucy A. Puniwai
Sans Pareil Realty
Web Reference:  http://webuyitwesellit.com
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Allison Cast…, , Tarrant County, TX
Mon Nov 24, 2008
If the mineral rights were not specifically addressed in the contract they should transfer at closing (if any were there). It is tricky with the lease provisions, but it should have been addressed to you that there was one. You should contact a mineral rights attorney and he/she would be able to look into the specifics of your contract and the mineral rights/lease issue. Good Luck and if I can be of further assistance don't hesitate to call or email me.
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