Most people have heard of eminent domain powers, which give the government the authority to take private property under certain circumstances. If you have received notice that your property may be subject to an eminent domain action, you should speak with a knowledgeable condemnation attorney as soon as possible to familiarize yourself with the legal process and your rights. The following are some things you should know regarding eminent domain.
You have rights even if you stay on your property. In some cases, the government does not seize all of your property, but only needs a portion of your property for the project. In this situation, you still deserve to be justly compensated for the partial taking of your property. In addition, if a project next to your property causes damage to your property, you deserve to be compensated for any damage caused.
“Just compensation” can include more than current usage. Many people assume that just compensation is for the value of your land as it is currently being used, including any current structures you have on the property. However, you can calculate just compensation based on the “highest and best” use of your land. Therefore, if additional buildings could be built and used on your land, you may be able to take potential future uses into account when determining value. Finally, if it will be costly for you to relocate, you can negotiate for your compensation to cover those costs, as well.
Many attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Too many landowners are hesitant to call an attorney when they receive notice of an eminent domain action because they are worried about the cost. Financial concerns are particularly relevant since you are about to lose your property. However, most eminent domain law firms will handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay nothing out of pocket and your attorney will not collect any fees unless they help you obtain more compensation. One exception to contingent fees may be if you want to challenge the condemnation action altogether, but your attorney should discuss any fee arrangement with you before you make any decisions to hire them.
Call 201-498-9768 today for more information.
If your property is in jeopardy due to eminent domain, you should call a skilled real estate lawyer as soon as possible. The Law Office of John L. Schettino has experience handling all types of real estate cases, so please contact us today.