New Jersey Real Estate
Purchasing Real Estate in New Jersey
Tideland Claims and Riparian Rights
Tidelands are all those lands now or formerly flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway. Riparian Rights are the rights of owners adjacent to tidelands.
In New Jersey the state owns all tidelands except for those to which it has already sold its interest in the form of a riparian grant. The state may also license or lease tidelands to a property owner.
A riparian grant, or tidelands grant, is a deed from the State of New Jersey selling its tidelands.
A tidelands license is a short term revocable agreement permitting use of tidelands for structures such as docks, bulkhead extensions, mooring piles, and other temporary structures. Licenses expire after a term ranging from one to ten years but are renewable.
A tidelands lease is a long term agreement permitting the use of tidelands generally for homes over water. The term of a tidelands lease is generally twenty years.
The Tidelands Resource Council, a body of twelve Governor-appointed members, makes the initial decisions to sell or rent tidelands. The decisions must then be approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. Tidelands grants and leases must also be approved and signed by the Attorney General and the Governor.
Grants and leases require more complex processing and involve obtaining the approval of many State officials including the Governor. The total processing time can be as long as two to three years.
If you are going to purchase a home in New Jersey or refinance a mortgage for a property located in New Jersey the title company or your lender will order a Tideland Search from a company such as Charles Jones, Inc. or Western Technologies Group, LLC.
A tideland search reveals whether or not the State of New Jersey has a tideland claim to any part of the property in question.
If there is a tideland claim the lender will make a determination as to whether or not they want to provide financing for a mortgage.
Therefore, if you are considering purchasing a property near a large body of water you should consider reviewing the tidelands maps at the county and municipal Clerk’s office to determine if your property is affected by a tidelands claim.
However, you will not be able to determine if the State has issued a tidelands conveyance for your property by simply reviewing these maps. For that, you must request a formal search.
You can obtain much more detailed information from The Division of Land Use Regulation.