The government is responsible for planning where and how to construct infrastructure for the benefit of the public. Sometimes, the optimal locations for these projects cross through private properties. The government could take these pieces of land using eminent domain.
However, the government can only seize property with proper payment, and it must appropriately compensate the landowners. Although, how do you know if the amount is just for the property the government plans to take?
Calculating the compensation amount could be complicated, depending on the circumstances. Usually, the government uses the following factors to compute it:
- Fair market value
- Sales of similar property
- Leasing value
An appraisal can help determine how much they should pay the owner. Unfortunately, they do not consider sentimental value. They might also not account for proximity-based value.
Can I refuse if I do not agree to the compensation amount?
Depending on the situation, landowners might feel apprehensive about giving up their property. They might refuse to let go due to personal reasons or disagree with the indicated compensation amount.
Regardless of the reason, the owners could refuse to sell the property. If they do so based on the belief that the compensation is insufficient, the case could go to the court of condemnation to determine the property’s actual value.
Additionally, owners could challenge the action, saying it does not meet eminent domain requirements. They can raise concerns if they believe the entity is unauthorized to take the land or they are taking it for an inappropriate purpose.
Landowners still have rights despite eminent domain laws. However, they might need legal counsel to navigate the process.