Just Compensation When the Government Takes Your Land

When the State of Texas wants to take your land, the process begins with an offer letter. The State must provide you with a description of the property they intend to take and a monetary offer. Before the State can file suit, it must provide you with a final offer and an appraisal from a certified appraiser with the fair market value of the property it is taking.

In reviewing these offers, you should take care to determine what improvements are being taken whether it is a building, parking, or landscaping. A certified appraiser may be needed to determine if the taking results in any damage to the remaining property, which is recoverable if proven. You should also be concerned with the costs of repairing any damage done by the taking, especially when only part of your land is being taken. The State will make a good faith estimate of the damages, but will likely not be in a position to know all the work that will need to be done.

The taking of parking spaces or part of your parking lot could damage the value of your remaining property and entitle you to more compensation. You may need to move drains, reposition signage, and decrease the property line to comply with required setbacks. Once rebuilt, the property will need to comply with all codes and regulations, including space for fire lanes. Any business affected by a governmental taking should consider all the effects on its property before agreeing to a resolution. It may also require an appraiser’s opinion and/or other experts to determine the just compensation you are entitled to.

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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.