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What Are Your Littoral and Riparian Rights

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Are you new to owning property on a body of water? Do you know your rights to the water and land bordering the water? Before making any changes to your property, you should learn all you need to know about your riparian and littoral rights.

Riparian Rights

Riparian rights are given to property owners who border a running body of water, such as a river or stream. If you own this type of property, you have strict rights to the water. You are allowed to use the water reasonably but cannot impact the other riparian land with the same water access. For example, you cannot add anything to your property that inhibits water flow downstream.

Littoral Rights

If you own property bordering a body of water that is not flowing, such as a pond, lake, or ocean, littoral rights apply to you. An example of this type of property is a lakefront or beachfront home. If your property borders a body of water affected by high and low tides, you have rights to everything up to the median watermark. If you own property bordering a lake or pond that is not affected by tide, you have rights to everything up until the middle of the body of water. This gives you room for home improvements such as a dock or boat house.

If you are unsure about your rights to the water your property borders, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced real estate attorney to help you understand your rights. The Calvin Law Center is here to answer any questions and help you settle any disputes you may experience. Contact our team at 248-919-8383 to schedule your initial consultation.