Contracts for land deals contain a section known as the habendum clause, which addresses rights and ownership. In real estate leases, it covers the lessee's rights and interests, while in purchase contracts, it addresses the transfer of ownership without restrictions. In oil and gas contracts, it sets out the primary term for a company to hold mineral rights without the obligation to start exploration.
The habendum clause is a contractual section that deals with property rights, interests, and ownership aspects given to one of the parties in a deal. It is commonly included in various property-related documents, including real estate transfers, leases, deeds, and the oil and gas industry.
How Does the Habendum Clause Work?
Depending on the nature of the contract, the content of the habendum clause can differ. In real estate contracts, it pertains to the transfer of property ownership and any associated restrictions. It is sometimes referred to as the "to have and to hold clause" because of its initial phrase. In oil and gas leases, the habendum clause defines the primary and secondary terms of the lease, determining its duration. In this context, the focus lies on the "and so long thereafter" part, which extends the lease under specific conditions. The habendum clause is also known as the "term clause" in the oil and gas industry.
In Real Estate Contracts
Habendum clauses in real estate leases define the lessee's rights and interests, while in outright real estate purchases, they govern the transfer of ownership and any restrictions. Typically, such clauses state a property is transferred without restrictions, granting the new owner complete ownership after fulfilling conditions like full payment. This type of property title is known as "fee simple absolute," subject to government laws and powers.
The habendum clause sometimes referred to as the "to have and to hold clause," pertains to property rights and ownership aspects given to one of the parties in a deal. It is commonly included in various property-related documents, including real estate transfers, leases, deeds, and the oil and gas industry. In some real estate transfers, the habendum clause may include restrictions. For instance, a timeshare lease might specify the percentage of ownership being transferred and any related restrictions.
Countdowns and Lifespans
Occasionally, property or land itself is subject to a countdown, after which ownership reverts to another entity. For example, some treaty lands allow development but cap ownership transfer at 100 years. This can lead to high property value in the initial lease period, but it decreases as the countdown to the deadline progresses. Additionally, certain leases may be tied to the lessee's lifespan, causing the property to revert to the original owner upon the lessee's death.
In Oil and Gas Contracts
In the oil and gas sector, the habendum clause outlines the initial term during which a company holds mineral rights to the land without an obligation to explore. This term typically spans from one to ten years, depending on the field's potential. If no production occurs during this period, the lease expires.
However, if the company drills and starts producing oil or gas, the secondary term begins, continuing as long as production persists. The habendum clause allows the lessor to resell the lease if the lessee fails to initiate production within the initial term, while also protecting the lessee if they invest in the land and begin production.
The habendum clause is an essential part of property-related contracts, including real estate transfers, leases, deeds, and oil and gas industry contracts. Understanding the clause's different variations and how they work is crucial for anyone involved in these types of deals.