What you need to know…
When your lot is on the water on Toledo Bend Lake, you effectively have some “extra” land known as a “leaseback”. The state owns the lake and a certain amount of land surrounding. The lake’s nominal level is 172′ MSL (Mean Sea Level).
From this point, the state also owns another portion of land up to the “take line”. The “take line” is at the 175′ MSL level and a minimum of 50′ horizontally from the 172′ MSL line. The use of this land is permitted to the owners of the land that adjoins it toward the water and is known as a “leaseback” because it is literally leased from the State of Louisiana for 99 years. Residential property owners do not pay any annual fee for this lease.
So, in addition to the land you purchase, you effectively get an additional parcel of land in the form of the leaseback. Note that no living structures may be constructed on the leaseback, but other facilities such as docks, boat houses, etc. are permitted. The leaseback should always be specified in your deed. Permits are required to construct a dock, boat house, or other structure on the leaseback and/or into the lake itself and are obtained through the Sabine River Authority of Louisiana.
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NOTE: The information presented above is intended as a brief guideline and is not presented as a final authority or complete set of rules on the subject. The Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana administers the regulations and is the final authority on them.
TEXAS: On the Texas side of the lake the situation with waterfront property is somewhat different. What we call the “leaseback” in Louisiana is, for all practical purposes, “rented” back to property owners each year on the Texas side with an annual fee.