Eminent domain is the power that the government has to seize private property for public use. Many landowners fear eminent domain because they don’t understand their rights as a property owner or the restrictions on local governments. There are a lot of myths regarding eminent domain that you should know, especially if you are in a situation where the government wants use of your land. Here are three of the most common myths about eminent domain.
Local Governments Have Unchecked Power
The local government has a lot of regulations that it has to follow when it comes to eminent domain. The government cannot simply seize your property for any reason. There are specific circumstances that the government has to follow. Speaking with an attorney can help you recognize the rights that you have, and the restrictions placed on the government.
The Government Has to Pay for Interference
There are a lot of misconceptions about what the government has to pay residents for when they construct public structures or roads nearby. There are going to be some inconveniences during construction. Generally, you cannot ask for payment due to annoyances such as traffic or noise. However, if the workers cause a landslide on your property, you may have a right to compensation.
The Government Sets the Price for Your Property
The local government cannot decide the value of your property. If the government offers you a price for your property, discuss your options with a lawyer first. He or she can instruct you of your rights and can make sure that you are protected if the government tries to offer the lowest price possible. U.S. law requires the government agency to pay you the current market value of your property.
While you should work with a lawyer to receive the best possible price for your property, do not hold out for the highest price. If the process drags on for too long, you may lose any profit because you continue to drag it through litigation. You may want to settle for a fair price, rather than the best price.
Eminent domain can be complex. While the government does not have unlimited power, you should still work with an attorney to find out what powers they have and what your rights are. Call a real estate lawyer today to find out what you can do if the government wants to seize your property.