A Texas private property owner likely assumes that he or she has the right to do with that property as he or she pleases. That individual may want to build a home, open a business or even develop land for a specific purpose. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that not only can the government tell an owner what he or she can and cannot do with private property, but in certain circumstances, the government may also be able to take property for its own purposes.
The concept of eminent domain
Eminent domain is the authority of the local, state or federal government to claim privately owned property for the benefit of the public. This means that if the government needs a portion of land for the expansion of roads, installation of utility lines and other projects, it may be able to take some or all privately owned land to do so. However, the government must offer the property owner an amount that is reflective of the current market value.
Property owners have the right to dispute an eminent domain claim on their property. They may also ask for more money if they feel that the government is not offering a fair amount. Eminent domain cases are complex, and often, the best option for Texas property owners is to fight for appropriate compensation.
Navigating eminent domain matters
It can be intimidating for a property owner to challenge the actions of the government. It is beneficial for one to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to understand the options available in eminent domain matters. In any case, an owner has the right to fight for the best possible outcome for his or her case.