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Is the government allowed to just take your property?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2021 | Eminent Domain

Whether it’s for a new neighborhood or business complex, there are many construction projects taking place throughout California. For some of these projects to get completed, construction must take place where homes or businesses already exist. Here’s more information about what happens when the government steps in to take land that’s already occupied.

What is eminent domain?

Eminent domain is the official term for what happens when a government can take property currently owned by a person or business as long as it’s for legitimate public use. Fortunately, eminent domain does require that the government compensate those who are getting their properties seized.

What to do if the government wants your land

When the government wants your land, you should receive a letter stating its intent. Next, an appraiser will need to valuate your property. After that, you’ll receive a copy of your property’s official appraisal value. At this point, your best option is to consider negotiating the highest possible price for your land. You can improve your odds during these negotiations if your neighbors also want more compensation.

If the government and a landowner can’t agree on a price, they go through a condemnation proceeding. When this happens, you can either make a counteroffer for your land or oppose the sale. It’s also possible to dispute the government’s land claim if you can prove it wants more space than the project requires.

There’s isn’t much a landowner can do when the government uses eminent domain to procure their land. Sometimes, you’ll be able to negotiate a higher price than the offer you originally received. To get the help you need before these negotiations begin, consider contacting an eminent domain attorney.