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What constitutes ‘just compensation’ for your property?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Eminent Domain

If you are facing a situation where the government plans to acquire your property for public use through the eminent domain process, one of the key terms you will encounter is “just compensation.” Essentially, it is the value that reflects what your property is truly worth. This compensation is critical for any landowner, especially if the property is part of their livelihood, heritage or plans for the future.

Understanding the factors determining a just compensation may provide you with peace of mind as you navigate this complex legal procedure.

The price of your property today

Your property’s fair market value is the starting point for determining your paymentThis is the price a buyer would be willing to pay you if you sold your property today under normal market conditions.

Several factors come into play when determining this value. These include the current state of the property — its size, condition and existing structures or improvements. The location is also a pivotal factor, with properties in thriving areas more likely to fetch a higher price than those in less developed regions.

Your property’s potential

The value of your land is not just about its current state. The concept of “highest and best use” plays a significant role in determining just compensation. For instance, a piece of farmland on the edge of a growing city might be more valuable as a residential development. When figuring out the value of your land, appraisers think about these possibilities.

Damage to the remaining property

If the government only needs a part of your land, the impact on the rest becomes a critical factor. This is known as severance damages. If the government takes a part of your land with road access, the remainder’s value might decrease. You must also receive compensation for this kind of loss.

If you find yourself facing government seizure of your property, remember that just compensation is your legal right. It is there to ensure that your loss is recognized and that the compensation you receive is equitable.

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