How can you get the most compensation from eminent domain?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Real Estate Law |

The Boca Raton region seems to be constantly under development. While that can increase property values and make it a more enjoyable to live in the area, it can also put your land at risk of being taken by the government for the public good. This is known as eminent domain.

Before the government can legitimately seize your property, though, they must demonstrate that the taking is for the public good and that they’ll provide you with just compensation.

The just compensation analysis can be a tricky one, as there are several factors that can go into the determination. But you don’t want to lose out on the money that you deserve when you’re forced to surrender your land. That’s why we want to give you a few tips for getting the most compensation out of your eminent domain case.

Maximizing just compensation in an eminent domain deal

Far too many property owners think that they don’t have negotiating power when it comes to eminent domain. However, here are some tips that might give you bargaining power and help you get the most out of your eminent domain case:

  • Be armed with information: Before it can take your land, the government must pay you the fair market value of your land. But what constitutes fair market value can be a point of contention. You can maximize what you get out of your land deal by knowing the true value of your property. So, seek out an independent appraisal and conduct your own research to see what similar properties are selling for on the open market. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to push back against the government’s offer.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the legal process as leverage: As mentioned above, you can negotiate with the government over the amount of compensation to be paid. If those negotiations are unsuccessful, then you can take the matter to court and let a judge decide what’s just. Showing a willingness to fully utilize the process will demonstrate to the government that you mean business, which might push them to be more accommodating to your requests.
  • Recognize that income is only part of the equation: Some business owners whose properties are being taken make the mistake of thinking that their property’s income is the basis for a just compensation determination. But the income that the property brings in, in conjunction with its earnings potential, is only part of the determination. Therefore, you’ll still want to look for comparable open market sales while gathering evidence to support income and income potential that isn’t too speculative.

When the government tries to take your land, they might push for quick resolution. But don’t move so quickly in your case that you lose out on the money you deserve. Don’t be afraid to slow down so that you can fully analyze the situation and advocate for the outcome that’s fair under the circumstances.

Don’t leave your eminent domain case to chance

The outcome of your eminent domain case can have a significant outcome on your future. If you mishandle your case, then you could lose out on the compensation you need to reestablish the life that you worked so hard to build.

Don’t let the government get away with that. Instead, develop a sound legal strategy that puts you in the driver’s seat of your case. Hopefully then you’ll be able to walk away from the process with the compensation that is truly just under the circumstances.