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Under what circumstances can the government claim your property?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Eminent Domain

Sometimes, the government needs additional land to widen roads, extend railroads or build facilities for public use. As there are limited government lands, the state must negotiate with private property owners to seize land before proceeding with their projects. This process is called eminent domain. While you cannot outright refuse when the government claims your land, you can take measures to guarantee that you get the proper compensation for it.

Property must be for public use

The Landowner’s Bill of Rights indicates that the government can only take private property if it will benefit the public. This can be in the form of new or expanded roads, parks, universities, hospitals or other infrastructure for public service. The government cannot use land taken through eminent domain for economic development.

Property owners must receive fair compensation

The government must compensate the property owner adequately before they can claim the land. They must provide the property owner with a written appraisal from a certified appraiser along with the notice regarding their intention to claim the land.

Condemning of land must follow due process

As the property owner, you can take measures to ensure you do not get the short end of the stick in this transaction. You can check the project details if it is necessary to take your land. You can also get a private appraiser to check if the government’s proposed value of your land is satisfactory. Before you sign and accept the government’s offer, verify that it aligns with your rights as a property owner.

If you are unsatisfied with the government’s proposed compensation or have doubts regarding their reason for taking your land, you may take this to court. Remember that you have the right to have legal representation to challenge or negotiate the condemnation of your property. It is beneficial to have an experienced eminent domain lawyer by your side to ensure you obtain the maximum value of your property.

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