The Fifth Amendment allows the government to take private property for public use through eminent domain power. However, it is required to pay compensation to the property owner based on the value of the property. Unfortunately, in many cases, the government or other entity fails to follow this law, instead opting for a low offer.
We know that you may not be aware of the value of your property or the other costs involved with condemnation for eminent domain. Our job is to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
What is Just Compensation?
According to the Fifth Amendment, the government is required to pay you for the highest and best use of the property. This means that if your property were commercial and had a higher value, you should be paid that amount even if it is currently being used as a residence.
To determine fair market value, the government should hire an appraiser to assess the property. However, their assessment may not meet your expectations. You have the right to hire your own appraiser to determine the true value.
If the value of the property were the only consideration, the cases involved in eminent domain would not be so complex. However, there are other expenses and damages to be included. Depending on the purpose of the property, there may be relocation costs. If the property was commercial, retail or industrial, there are the costs of moving the equipment, machinery, and inventory as well as the loss of business income during the transition.
Some businesses are designed to be local in nature, like the coffee shop that has the regular patrons who stop by every morning on the way to work. When this coffee shop has to relocate due to eminent domain, it may lose its customer base.
All private property owners have the right to be compensated fairly for their losses incurred as a result of eminent domain. You do not have to accept the offer from the government. Instead, you can refuse the offer and go to court in hopes of a higher settlement for your property.
We will work with you to determine the value of your property in its highest and best use as well as calculating in all of the severance damages you deserve because of the loss of your property. Call us today if you’ve received notice of condemnation and let us help you receive just compensation for your property.