I have been told I have a tidelands claim on my property, What now?
Beleive it or not, this is a very common question where we live in Southern Ocean County, NJ and not many people know the answer to it.
A "tidelands claim" could have been created in a number of ways, but most commonly, it is where a free flowing body of water previously existed on a property that is now developed. These are much more common in properties purchased prior to 1980 and properties that have been family owned for long periods of time. These claims will show up in a title search while trying to buy or sell the property and if not addressed previously, can hold up the sale of a property for quite some time.
Since the state of New Jersey technically still has a claim to this portion of the land, the seller cannot procide clear title to the property without properly clering the claim with the state. There are two common ways to do this.
Riparian Lease - These leases are normally used for areas still condidered flowing bodies of water. You will most likley see these in place for docks and peirs or properties that have not been bulkheaded. The state will still technically still own the land but will do a long term lease which will then run with the land and be assumable buy a buyer thus providing clear title to the property and making it saleable again.
Riparian Grant - This process allows the owner to purchase the claimed portion of the property from the state for a 1 time fee which would then clear the title of the land moving forward.
Letter of No Interest - A LNI can be requested and issued when there is a micalculation regarding the claim. In many insytances, there are variations in the map overlays which can lead to false claims.
Step one - Get a survey of the property done if you do not already ahve a recent one. If there is no tidelands area mapped on the survey, inform the survey company of the claim and ask the surveying company to mark the claim clearly on the survey.
Step Two - Check your title policy if you have one. If you or your family had purchased title insurance when it was bought, there is a very high chance that if the claim does exist, the title compnay would be responsible for reimbursing you for the cost of the claim.
Step Three - Speak witht the state department and confirm that there is indeed a claim and if so, submit an application for the vehicle that makes the most sense for your situation.
How does the state determine a price of the claim?
There are two additional discounts that can then be applied to this number, a Good Faith discount and Litigation risk. Both offer a 75% percent discount to the price of the claim. A property cannont qualify for both discounts, it is either one or the other.
The good news is, more often than not, there is a clear path to clearing a claim and it is not as expensive as most people would originally think. The bad news is that these leases and grants can take up to 8-12 months and possibly long to complete without complications.
There is a great power point on this topic https://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/JCNERRWebinartidelands.pdf
You can also visit the official site for NJ Land Use and read all about it here. https://www.nj.gov/dep/landuse/tl_main.html
Please contact me if you are trying to sell you home and inticipate an issue regarding state claims. I can help. CJ Davies 609-713-8952 CJDavies3@gmail.com