What is Eminent Domain and Condemnation?

Eminent domain and condemnation are two interchangeable terms to describe the actions of a government or authorized agent to take possession of a property from a property owner. This action is also referred to as a taking. Under the laws governing eminent domain, certain authorized parties have the right to take the property for public use. If you are facing foreclosure or bankruptcy, it is best to contact an experienced lawyer about your options.

Who Has Authority?

States differ on which entities can claim eminent domain. Not all government entities have such authority. Where government entities that have the authority to impose eminent domain, properties that are converted for public purposes are used for such things like highways, schools, or other public facilities.

In other cases, the property can be renovated or redeveloped to improve the neighborhood. Some properties are condemned and converted by transportation, energy, or utility companies for purposes to further their operations.

Who Receives Compensation?

Eminent domain often involves payment of compensation to the property owner. Renters may be eligible to receive compensation if the taking infringes on their lease rights.

What is Inverse Condemnation?

In many condemnation cases, the physical possession of the property is taken by the government and the legal title to the property is also transferred.

In contrast, an inverse condemnation does not involve the transfer of title to the government. Instead, however, the point is due to regulations that essentially invalidates the rights of the title holder regarding the property.

What Are the Limitations?

Often, where eminent domain is applied, only part of the property is affected. Sometimes, the condemnation is only in effect temporarily.

In some cases that call for eminent domain, only part of the property is needed to complete the project or address the property usage needs. This is the case when a portion of all properties on the block is used to widen the street.

An authorized entity may use the eminent domain principals to access a property for a specific use without affecting the property’s ownership. This happens when a utility company installs underground pipes or lines through a property.

Eminent domain usage can be temporary. For example, a section of private property may be used to access a building project before a road is built as part of the project.

Additionally, property owners have rights to damages if a project is announced but delayed, as such delays can affect property value.

What Rights do the Owners Have?

Property owners have the right to be notified about the condemnation intentions. They also have a right to compensation at fair market value. Negotiations are common, but ultimately the court will decide. The condemnation will be enforced, despite attempts to delay. Some laws allow projects to proceed unimpeded.

Towson Real Estate Lawyers Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Represent Property Owners in Condemnation Cases

Eminent domain laws differ by state, and different applications have different rules. Property owners with concerns about a condemnation should contact one of our Towson real estate lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. We have the experience and the knowledge to handle your case. Contact us online or call us at 443-589-0150 to schedule a free consultation.

Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.

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A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19

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