If your property is subject to a taking under the government’s eminent domain powers, the 5th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States1 requires that the government provide “just compensation” for the loss of your land. The following is some additional information regarding the compensation you deserve if your property is part of a condemnation action.

Just compensation for the property – Most importantly, you are entitled to compensation for the value of the property you are losing. Proper valuation of the land by a knowledgeable eminent domain appraiser is critical, as this compensation is not necessarily based on the tax or market value of the land. Instead, the appraisal should consider the value of its “highest and best use” (HBU)2. In addition, if only part of your land is taken, you should receive full compensation for any damage that occurred to the remaining part of the property. Negotiations regarding the “just” amount can occur between the landowner and the government and, if a hearing is required, a judge or jury can make that determination based on evidence presented in court.

Compensation for relocation expenses – In addition to losing your land, relocating your life to another property often costs additional money. Both federal and state laws allow for compensation for relocation expenses in certain qualifying situations.

Other compensation based on state law – State statutes entitling landowners to additional types of compensation can vary widely. Some states may allow for loss of business good will or other business-related damages, reimbursement for expert fees, appraisal fees, and/or attorney’s fees. In addition, some states, such as Minnesota, may require more than the minimum just compensation in some cases, while other states may pay extra to owners who owned the land for a particularly long time.

Contact an experienced Ohio eminent domain lawyer for assistance

Determining the amount of compensation to which you are entitled can be complicated and the skilled condemnation attorneys at the law office of Sever Storey, LLP can assist you in calculations, negotiations, and more. Please call today at 888-318-3761 for help.