Eminent domain is a complex and complicated area of real estate law. In today’s post we want to help demystify eminent domain by introducing you to some of the more common words used in eminent domain proceedings.
Understanding the language of eminent domain will give you a better understanding of just what is going on if you are involved in a condemnation proceeding.
In an eminent domain proceeding, when people use the word “condemned” or “condemnation” they don’t mean that your property is unfit to live in. The term “condemnation” refers to the government’s exercise of its eminent domain power. It is basically interchangeable with “eminent domain.” Whether the word “eminent domain” or “condemnation” is used, it is referring to the government’s power to take private property for a public purpose.
2. Just and Adequate Compensation
One of the most important phrases used in an eminent domain proceeding and the focus of many hard-fought battles, “just and adequate compensation” refers to how much money the government must pay you for your property. Think of it this way: they’re gonna take it; the question is, how much will they pay you for it?
This is an area of hot dispute. As a general rule, “just and adequate compensation” means the property’s fair market value at the time of the taking. The yardstick used to measure just and adequate compensation is normally the value of the property an owner has lost, not the value of the property a condemning authority has gained.
3. Consequential Damages
Under Georgia law, a property owner whose land is being condemned by the government is entitled to compensation not only for the property lost but for consequential damages.” This means that the property owner is entitle to payment for damage to his or her property. In other words, for the impact that the condemnation has on the remaining property’s value.
In an eminent domain proceeding, the concept of property extends beyond just the land. “Property” in this context could mean virtually anything of value. For example, while it usually refers to land and buildings, “property” could refer to any other improvements as well, like an existing driveway or fence. It can also refer to property rights, such as the right to enlarge a building or install a fence or sprinkler system.
Eminent Domain Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein we handle eminent domain cases. We can guide you through the process and help you get the compensation you deserve. We have offices in Cumming, Georgia, and we serve Atlanta and a number of the surrounding counties including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. You can contact us here or call us at 770-888-7707 to schedule your free phone consultation.