by Brian Fisher
We have all likely seen the following conveyance language in deeds conveying real property in Texas: “…and all interest, if any, of Grantor in (i) strips or gores, if any, between such real property and abutting properties, (ii) any land lying in or under the bed of any street, alley, road, or right-of-way, opened or proposed, abutting or adjacent to the real property,…”; however, do we know what it means? There is a straight-forward answer.
Strips and Gores Doctrine
Part (i) is referred to as the “strips and gores doctrine” and is rather unique to Texas. Long ago, the Texas Supreme Court acknowledged that long narrow strips of land not being expressly conveyed by deeds of the lands on either side of the strip have the potential to create disputes between the 2 adjacent landowners. Therefore, the Texas Supreme Court, due to public policy concerns (i.e., avoiding litigation), held there exists a presumption that a grantor of land retains no interest in the strip unless such interest is expressly reserved in the deed (i.e., any interest of the grantor in and to the strip passes to the grantee).
Designed to Avoid Litigation
Part (ii) is a rule associated with the strip and gores doctrine stating that a conveyance of land abutting a road or public highway is presumed to convey ownership rights to the soils (subject to the rights of public passage) to the center of the abutting road or highway unless rebutted by the express terms of the Deed. Again, this language is designed to avoid litigation between the landowners adjacent to the road or public highway. Based on such presumptions, such language is not necessary in deeds; however, I don’t expect that practice to end anytime soon.
The moral of the story: if you forget to include this language, no harm, no foul.
If you have any questions concerning this topic or other real estate topics, please contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or (469) 916-7700 ext. 106.
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About Brian Fisher
Brian Fisher is a Shareholder in the Firm’s Real Estate Practice.
Mr. Fisher’s extensive practice includes the representation of lenders, developers, owners and investors in all manner of real estate transactions, including sales, acquisitions, leasing and vertical development of office, industrial, retail, multi-family, and condominium products, as well as land development, including residential, mixed-use, commercial and ranch.
Brian’s practice includes a high concentration of commercial warehouse leasing and office leasing for institutional owners such as Heitman Capital Management, AEW and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.Learn more about Brian…