What do you do if your property is condemned?

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I am not talking about a property that is so run-down that the government asks you to board up or tear down a building.  I am talking about condemnation as in the government's right to take private property for a public purpose. 

Did you know that if your property has been taken by the government, whether it be a total taking of your entire property in fee, or whether it be for an easement, you are entitled to just compensation. 

What is "just compensation"?  Just compensation is the difference between the fair market value of the condemnee’s entire property interest immediately before the condemnation and and the fair market value of the property interest remaining immediately after the condemnation and as affected by the condemnation.  Fair market value is the price which would be agreed to by a willing and informed seller and buyer, considering the following factors: 

  • present use of the property and its value for that use; 
  • highest and best reasonably available use of the property and its value for that use;
  • machinery, equipment and fixtures forming part of the real estate taken; and
  • any other factors as to which evidence may be offered. 

Once the condemning authority provides an offer of just compensation to the condemnee, the condemnee may accept that offer without jeopardizing its right to file a petition for a board of view to determine whether the just compensation paid was sufficient. 

A condemnee has five (5) years from the filing of the Declaration of Taking to decide whether to file a petition for a board of view to determine just compensation.  If your property was taken by a governmental agency, it may not be too late to determine whether just compensation was received.



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