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Your first steps after receiving a notice of condemnation

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Eminent Domain

Receiving a condemnation notice can be alarming for any Texas homeowner. Questions may immediately arise: Is this even legal? Where will you live now? Will you, at least, receive compensation?

Anyone in such a difficult situation may rightfully feel a combination of fear, confusion and perhaps even anger.  After all, the property in question is not just any structure but the very home in which you’ve built memories and dreams.

But what can you do?

Immediate actions to take following a condemnation notice

When faced with the threat of eminent domain, do not let uncertainty stop you in your tracks. You have legal options and rights.

Consider taking these actions without delay:

  1. Understand what eminent domain involves: In Texas, eminent domain is the power that allows the government or authorized entities to take private property for public use. Condemnation is the formal process they follow to exercise this power. Attend any public meetings the condemning authority holds to learn more about the impending actions. If they are not abiding by the legal process, you may have an opportunity to contest the seizure of your property.
  1. Be aware of your rights: Knowing what rights you have can guide how you respond to an eminent domain action. For instance, the condemning entity must provide you with the Landowner’s Bill of Rights, a notice of condemnation and a bona fide offer. You are also entitled to adequate compensation.
  2. Contact a professional: While you may not say no to an eminent domain action, you can challenge it. If the entity’s initial offer does not reflect the true value of your property, which has been the case for many landowners, you can counteroffer.

Although you have every right to manage this alone, an experienced attorney may be more adept in overseeing negotiations, asserting your rights and representing you in legal proceedings. Moreover, their guidance can spare you from mistakes that may cost you in the long run.

With your home and rights on the line, equipping yourself with knowledge on eminent domain and legal support may be essential first steps.

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