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When the government seizes a piece of property in an eminent domain1 action, it should be fairly clear that the landowner is entitled to proper compensation for their losses. However, what happens if you lease or rent an apartment, home, or office that has been condemned? In such a situation, you may lose your home or your place of business and it may have a significantly adverse effect on your life. The following is some information regarding a tenant’s rights in a condemnation action.
Are You Entitled to Compensation?
Some landlords include “condemnation clauses” in their lease agreements that prevent tenants from having rights to compensation should the building be condemned. However, many leases do not have this clause and if this is the case, the compensation should be divided between the owner and tenants.
The amount of compensation will vary depending on your specific interests in the property, including leases, business interests, and more. If you made improvements to the property, you may be entitled to compensation for those improvements, as long as your lease does not specify otherwise.
What Happens if You Still Owe Rent?
A condemnation action does not invalidate an existing lease agreement, so you would still have the obligation to fulfill the terms of your lease. For this reason, many tenants may use any compensation they receive to pay off their lease. If you have a long-standing lease – which is common for businesses – that would continue for a number of years, the court may limit your compensation and simply terminate the lease agreement so you no longer have financial obligations regarding the property.
Discuss Your Rights with a Skilled Condemnation Attorney Today
Whether you are a landowner, business owner, or a tenant, your life and finances can be seriously impacted by an eminent domain action. It is important to fully understand your rights and have representation from a highly experienced eminent domain lawyer who knows how to protect your rights. The team at Sever Storey, LLP stands up for client interests against the government in many states, including Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. If you need assistance, please call our office at 888-318-3761 today.
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