You’ve worked hard for your Tampa Bay property and spent many years building something you can be truly proud of—only to wake up one day and receive a condemnation notice from the government it wants your property for public use. You feel distraught and confused, wondering why you’ve suddenly become a target. You don’t want to lose your property, but what can you do? It’s important to first understand the meaning of “eminent domain.”
Eminent domain is the government’s right to acquire private property for public use. Without it, the extent of public infrastructure would be inadequate to accommodate society’s needs. This right is absolute – once your property becomes a target for condemnation, and provided the government is able to provide a valid reason for its action, the only choice you have is to argue that you are entitled to more compensation for your property than the value established in the government’s appraisal. In short, it’s an offer you cannot refuse.
In some instances, the government may need to obtain the entire property. In other cases, it may only need a part of it. Nevertheless, you’ll be offered an initial settlement. If you decline, you’ll be given time to obtain your own independent appraisal. At this point, working with eminent domain lawyers from Tampa Bay like Mark Bentley, P.A. is highly advisable. If you and the government still can’t agree on a figure the matter will be forwarded to court, where the government will be allowed to take your property. Arguing about its value follows.
How is your property valued?
In most cases, the government’s offer is based on your Tampa property’s fair market value (FMV). But this can be interpreted in various ways, and having a competent appraiser and land use lawyers gives you a fighting chance to obtain higher compensation. Factors that influence FMV include, but are not limited to, the following:
- property size
- buildings and roads
- current use
- surrounding businesses or land uses
- existing tenants and leaseholders
- recent sales of similar property in the area
Arming yourself with the above information is crucial in arguing a higher amount for your property.
The government can acquire your property, but if you refuse the offer the case will continue through the legal system for months and oftentimes even years. Regardless of the amount you’re willing to settle for, it should be something you believe you deserve. Gathering the right information, knowing your legal rights, and seeking help from an attorney who specializes in eminent domain will help you obtain the most out of your hard-earned investment.
How the Government Takes Property, Find Law
Negotiating an Offer Made in a Condemnation Action, Free AdviceShare