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In the face of a possible seizure, many Texas landowners feel emotional and lost. The problem is made even more difficult when they have operated on these same properties for generations and may not know their rights or how to protect themselves from being taken advantage of by those who would take away what’s theirs at any time.
The key to getting what you deserve through a condemnation is understanding how important it can be for your future.
We know that the thought of facing these types of losses and interrupted dreams carries an anxious burden, but the initial time period after receiving a condemnation notice can set everything else up leading into success or failure. It’s during these early stages where all actions taken become pivotal – so make sure you’re informed before taking any action:
When the government wants your land, they don’t play games. They use their vast resources and experience to acquire it without hesitation from you–the private citizen who has done nothing wrong other than owning a piece of earth that’s rightfully theirs! Landowners find themselves at the mercy of a government entity with vast experience and few incentives to negotiate.
The government has, most likely, spent years planning its project — and factoring in your land as already part of their overall plan. Experienced appraisers, engineers, attorneys hired by the government may have all been involved with this process since the beginning when they planned to condemn or purchase whatever property is needed to bring their plan to fruition (including yours). They want nothing more than to position themselves in the best way possible so they can acquire new lands and spend as little money as possible!
If you receive an initial offer that you think is not what it should be, don’t assume it is correct and take the deal. The professionals at OAG have experience negotiating amounts which significantly exceed what was originally offered! Sometimes their appraisers make mistakes and in some cases lawyers for condemning authorities will instruct them (the ones who do all of the dirty work) to not include certain forms of compensation available under law; but most importantly: keep yourself informed about how these projects could affect YOUR property before signing anything final.
Many appraisers may lowball offers in order to keep working with the condemning authority. This is because they know that their condemnor likes values below market rate and offer a high volume of work as well as being paid extra for providing testimony during commission hearings and trials.
The impacts of a project on your property should not be taken lightly. For example, changes in access and denials may affect how you use the area for certain activities or lose out on its highest & best use down the line.
Yes – you have rights! You are not obligated to talk with the condemning authority, enter into agreements, or make commitments before checking with an experienced land acquisition negotiator. Professional teams, like those at OAG, can help you protect yourself from overreach by the government in acquiring property through the eminent domain process which may include demands for payment of fair and just compensation.
In fact, the less you say, the better off your case may be. Refusing any personal meetings or telephone conversations is often a safe decision to avoid saying something that turns into a costly mistake.
You have the power to call a time-out whenever you need to. Don’t let anyone dictate your timetable or force an agreement without getting adequate and fair compensation.
Hiring an experienced condemnation negotiation team is often the best way to avoid losing time and money in this type of situation. Your skilled negotiators can help you with every angle and make sure that your argument for compensation reaches its full potential, which will likely result in a higher payment for your property than if you tried to convince the condemning authorities on your own!
You can’t afford to let the government walk all over you. Talking with an experienced condemnation negotiator can help you protect your interests and ensure that you are in the best position possible for the process ahead!
The short answer is Yes. However, while the United States and Texas Constitutions provide for a government’s right to take land, there are specific requirements that must be met.
While Texas land owners have every right to negotiate with a authorities without the help of an experienced team, it is not recommended. A group focused on law pertaining to eminent domain will know how best protect your interests during negotiations which could result in less than optimal compensation for what you are offering up front
The government has the right to take private property for public use. This includes utility companies, counties and municipal governments amongst others; they can exercise “eminent domain” (the formal name) if it’s in the public interest or need. This means there are some limits on when this law applies!
When the state of Texas takes your property through eminent domain, they must have a purpose for taking it. The most common reasons are transportation projects like highways and bridges; water/waste water construction such as dams or treatment plants (which also includes electricity generation); utility work that maintains power supply, and other similar projects.