Pay Dirt: How to be Compensated for Your Surface Lease
posted in: Surface Rights
If you’re an Albertan landowner who has not been paid annual rent owing under surface leases or right of entry orders on your land, you may be entitled to compensation under Section 36 of the Surface Rights Act.
Section 36 of the Surface Rights Act Explained
Section 36 gives you the right to claim compensation for unpaid annual rent and allows landowners to recover any unpaid amounts owed to them by the leaseholder.
Overall, Section 36 aims to protect the rights of landowners in Alberta by ensuring that they are fairly compensated for the use of their land, and that measures are taken to minimize any negative impacts caused by energy resource activities.
The compensation is to be negotiated between the landowner and the company or individual conducting the activity, and if they are unable to reach an agreement, the Land and Property Rights Tribunal may intervene to help resolve the matter.
How to Protect Your Surface Rights and Receive Compensation
There are several steps you can take, with the assistance of a lawyer, to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you are owed:
- Reviewing your surface lease agreement or right of entry order
Your surface lease agreement or right of entry order will outline the terms of your lease, including the payment deadline and the amount of rent due. Reviewing your agreement can help determine if you are owed any annual rent. If rent has been renegotiated since the date of the original surface lease or right of entry order, annual rent owing will be documented on offer letters.
- Review your payment records
Leaseholders are required to pay annual rent prior to or on the anniversary of the original surface lease or right of entry order. If you have not received payment by the anniversary date, it will be past due, and you can take steps to recover what you are owed.
- Contacting the leaseholder
If it appears you are owed unpaid annual rent, you should contact the leaseholder and request payment. Be sure to document all communication and keep a record of any promises or commitments made by the leaseholder. If the leaseholder has declared bankruptcy, you may still be able to recover compensation directly from the Government of Alberta.
- Filing a claim under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act
If the leaseholder fails to pay annual rent, you may be able to file a claim under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act to recover the amount owed to you. At KMSC LLP, we can help you prepare and file your claim, and represent you throughout the legal process.
KMSC Surface Rights Law Team
If you’re an Alberta landowner who has not been paid annual rent under a surface lease or right of entry order, contact the Surface Rights Team at KMSC Law today. We can help you claim the compensation you are entitled to, and we work on a contingency basis to ensure that you don’t pay anything until we recover the compensation owed to you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can assist you.