When property owners hear about eminent domain, their first reaction is often fear and worry. The idea that the government can take private property for their use is something that homeowners understandably have concerns over. While it is possible that the government can try to abuse its power, eminent domain may not be as scary of a concept as you think.
Here are some myths about eminent domain and the reality of the government’s authority.
The Government Sets the Price
There is a belief that the government chooses how much it will pay the owner of the piece of land. While the government can try to haggle and negotiate a lower cost, it has to pay a fair price. To determine what is fair, the value of the property has to be taken into consideration. It has to be just compensation. With help from a real estate lawyer, a property owner can ensure that he or she is getting a fair deal.
The Government Has Unlimited Power
There are restrictions on how the state and local governments can use eminent domain to keep the government from abusing its authority. Eminent domain is for very specific projects. These projects may include building schools, roadways, parks and other public buildings. The government cannot take more than what they are allowed to, provided by the law. The government can never demand your property for no reason or as an abuse of power.
The Homeowner Can Hold Out for a Better Offer
This is one of the biggest mistakes that a property owner can make. While you should consider fighting for a fair deal, you cannot wait for the government to pay more than your fair share. While it helps to have a lawyer to advocate for a fair price, there may be a time where you have to accept the price. Some people hold out for too long. When they do this, they wind up with high litigation costs and the money they receive for the property isn’t worth the time and money spent fighting the government.
The government cannot take a homeowner’s property without paying a fair and just price for it. Also, there are rules regarding how the government approaches taking private property. If the government is offering a payout for your property, you can still negotiate. Consult with a real estate lawyer in Allentown, PA, like from Hoegen & Associates, P.C., as soon as possible to find out your options.