Nobody's quite sure what an industrial mining company might find by digging under a home in Florida. But the Tampa Bay Times made waves recently when it reported that one national builder, D.R. Horton, was routinely reserving rights for mineral exploitation under houses it built and sold. Now, the Times reports, Florida lawmakers are looking to require, if nothing else, some plain dealing around the subject.
The Times had this report on January 22: ("State lawmakers push for transparency in drilling rights beneath Florida homes," by Drew Harwell). "Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, and state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, are sponsoring legislation that would force home sellers to alert prospective buyers in advance if they intend to keep the rights to drill underground," the paper reports. "The bills would address frustrations from home buyers who accused builders of keeping the drilling rights secret or of sharing their plans only at the closing table when buyers felt pressured to go ahead with sales."
DR Horton has ended its policy of retaining mineral rights—at least for now—and has offered to return the rights to homeowners who request it, the Times reports.