Surface Rights Law and Legal Definition

Surface rights refer to those ownership rights in a parcel of real estate that are limited to the surface. It does not include air rights or subsurface rights.

The following is an example of a case law on surface right:

The term 'surface rights' has a definite and well-understood meaning. It means the entire surface of the land, reserving the minerals to the grantor. [Keweenaw Ass'n v. Friedrich, 112 Mich. 442, 445 (Mich. 1897)].