It is common knowledge that the government can acquire your private property for its use. However, the Fifth Amendment says that the government must provide just compensation for the property acquired, but that may not be enough.
Ideally, you want your financial interests to come first as the property owner, and sometimes, it goes beyond the market price tag.
Fair market value
Several factors may weigh in when arriving at a just compensation for your property. Taking the prevailing rates of properties around yours cannot aptly reimburse you. In addition, the market value may miss some other losses that are not easily noticeable, as detailed below.
Cost of relocation
If you had to relocate your home or business to a new location, the costs involved should be factored in as part of the overall damages. Migrating from your customer base can also negatively affect your business, and you may be entitled to damages from all these unforeseen costs.
These damages arise when the remainder of the acquired land is rendered “useless or worthless.” This mainly occurs when the government acquires only a part of your land, negatively affecting the remaining piece. Other damages may arise from new regulations that may render land unusable for the activity the owner engaged in, resulting in lost income.
Yes, you can decline an offer
If the offer you received from the government was not satisfactory, you might decline the offer. Then, a judge or jury may have to step in and determine the optimum value for your land, informed by some of these factors mentioned. If you lost your property to government acquisition, it is only fair that you get the best deal. Protect your financial rights by getting to know more about eminent domain.