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What is just compensation in eminent domain cases?

| Jan 26, 2021 | Government

One of the last things any property owner in Texas wants to deal with is the government seizing their land for public use, but unfortunately, it happens. Landowners can attempt to fight the governments use of eminent domain laws, but sometimes those attempts prove fruitless. When the property seizure is set to move forward, the landowners have the right to just compensation. What exactly does that mean?

Technically speaking, just compensation means fair market value. Unfortunately, what a property owner may feel is fair may be vastly different than what the government feels is adequate compensation. Fair market value is not a number the government or a landowner can pull out of thin air. How exactly is fair market value determined?

There are three methods used to determine property value. They are the cost approach, market approach and income approach. The cost approach is all about determining how much it would cost the land owner to rebuild any structure on the property. The market approach is all about comparing the land value to similar properties in the area. Finally, the income approach is all about determining the propertys operating income.

Taking all this information into account, the government will offer what it thinks is fair. Of course, if property owners feel the sum inadequate, they have the right to request more. Texas residents who feel they are not being offered just compensation for property being seized through eminent domain laws have every right to seek assistance fighting for fair compensation. An experienced real estate law attorney may be able to help with this.