For many people, their biggest goal is owning a home and having the freedom to do whatever they want with it. However, this dream could quickly shatter if the government decides to step in to claim it for itself. While this may seem unlikely, this is the reality for many people who have been victims of eminent domain.
That being said, eminent domain is the government’s power to take private property for public use. Property owners frequently find that they don’t have a say in this matter. This can cause many people to lose their freedom of homeownership and leave them unjustly compensated for their losses.
The limits of what the government can take depend on what they plan to use the property for. Here’s what you should know:
What can the government take?
The government, typically, seizes property for roads, public buildings or similar projects. But, just because the government takes over someone’s private property, that doesn’t mean they are planning on using it all. As such, there are a few ways they’ll take property:
- Complete takings: the government will take all of someone’s property
- Partial takings: the government may only need a portion of someone’s property, leaving the rest for the owner
- Permanent takings: the government takes property without any foreseeable reason to return it
- Temporary taking: the government takes someone’s property for another use and returns it later
The government may physically take property or they could change the property’s zoning.
Can you stop eminent domain?
It can be difficult to fight for your rights over your land. You need to act fast to ensure you know your legal rights to own your real estate — and what you can do to a proposed eminent domain action.