If you own property, it may seem like a foreign concept that another person or party could tell you what you can do with that property or even claim ownership of it. However, despite how outrageous that may seem, this can happen in certain circumstances if the government deems it necessary to take your property. However, there are limits to what the government can do, and there are rights that you have as the property owner to dispute this effort.
Eminent domain is the legal concept that allows the government to confiscate privately owned property in certain circumstances. As a property owner, you will benefit from an understanding of when and how this could apply to you and what you can do that will help you protect your property rights and interests. This is important, even if you have not gotten notice of an eminent domain proceeding.
Different types of taking
There must be a valid reason for the government to take your property before moving forward with eminent domain. As the homeowner, you also have the right to contest this effort and seek to put a stop to any type of taking of your property. The government must provide evidence that the confiscation of property is necessary for the public good in order to move forward with any type of taking, which may include:
- Complete taking — This is when the government takes the entire parcel of land, but it must offer the owner a fair market value for the property.
- Partial taking — This is when the government only takes a portion of the property for the completion of a project.
- Temporary taking — The government may only require the portion of land for a limited period of time, after which they will relinquish sole access back to the owner.
- Permanent taking — The government will require the property on a permanent basis, even after the completion of the project.
If the government is attempting to take your Texas property, you have the right to compensation that represents the true property value of the land. Additionally, you have the right to contest the eminent domain effort, and you can take steps to fight back and protect your property rights. These cases are complex, and you will benefit from having experienced guidance at every step.