Does the government have the right to take private property for public use? Under the law of eminent domain, the local, state, or federal government has the power to legally take property. However, the government is required to pay the owner fair compensation for the land.

Have you received a notice from the government that your property will be taken? Do you feel that the amount offered to you is unfair? An eminent domain real estate lawyer can help you get fair compensation for your property. Here’s what you need to know about eminent domain.

For What Purposes Can the Government Take Private Property?

The government can take private property for a variety of reasons, but it must be for public or commercial purposes. Some examples include:

  • Sewer pipes
  • Road expansion
  • Power lines
  • Shopping centers
  • Ballparks
  • Access to water sources
  • Oil and gas pipelines

There are many different purposes for which the government can justify the taking of private property for public use. The property owner is typically notified of the purpose for which the government intends to use the land.

Can I Refuse to Give Up My Property?

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to fight the government to keep your property. They have the right to take the property under the following conditions:

  • The property will serve a publicly beneficial purpose once acquired
  • Just compensation is offered for the property
  • The property owner is represented and negotiations have been permitted

If any of these conditions are violated, you have the right to fight the government entity that is taking your property. Eminent domain real estate is a complicated legal matter that may seem unfair but is a fundamental law. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Do I Have to Accept the Government’s Offer?

The keyword in the wording of the Constitution is “just compensation.” The government has the obligation to make you a fair offer for your property. If you receive an offer you don’t believe is fair, consult with a real estate attorney. Your property may be worth more than what the government is willing to pay, and you have the right to ask for a higher amount. The government may make you a fair or even generous offer in an attempt to avoid litigation. But they may also make a low offer in the hopes that you will accept it without argument. Don’t just accept the offer without consulting with a lawyer.

How is Just Compensation for the Property Determined?

Typically, just compensation is considered to be the fair market value of the property at the time of the taking. This is the way the government determines what to offer you for your property. But if you have reason to believe that your property is worth more than what you are offered, you can decline the offer. However, you will then need to prove why you believe your property has a higher value. An experienced real estate lawyer can help you build your case.

How is Fair Market Value Determined in an Eminent Domain Case?

If your eminent domain case goes to court, a jury will determine the fair market value of your property. A variety of factors will be taken into consideration, including:

  • Size of the property
  • Accessibility
  • Zoning
  • Unique characteristics
  • Level of development
  • Current use or potential use

Is it Worth Fighting an Eminent Domain Case? 

It may seem hopeless if you can’t keep your property, but fighting for fair compensation for your land is definitely worth it. If the property being taken in your home, you’ll need that compensation to find a new home. Working with a lawyer will increase your chances of getting a better offer for your property, which could allow you to find a newer, nicer home than the one you’re giving up.

Kelly Legal Group Can Help You Get Fair Compensation for Your Property

Real estate law can be complex. But with help from the eminent domain real estate lawyers of Kelly Legal Group, you can fight for your right to fair compensation. You may not be able to stop the government from taking your property, but you can make sure they pay you fairly for it.

Call (512) 505-0053 or contact us today to schedule a consultation.