Reasons Why Private Property Can Be Condemned

destroyed interior of a building

When the government seizes your private property, this is called condemnation. There are limits to when the government is within its right to condemn a citizen’s property. Let’s discuss the main reasons why this can occur.

Valid Reasons for Property Condemnation

There are only two main reasons why the government can condemn private property.

  • For public purpose: If the government is going to use the land for a public purpose, they have the right to seize it from the property owner using eminent domain. In exchange, they must offer the owner fair monetary compensation.
  • For health and safety reasons: If the property is deemed unsafe for residence or use, it is labeled as a ‘condemned’ property. This could be due to extreme decay, biohazards, damage from a natural disaster, or more. The government may seize and demolish the structure. This type of condemnation is not done using eminent domain.

Public Purpose

Eminent domain allows the government to condemn property for a public purpose, but what does this mean? Public purpose may be the reason for condemnation if the government is going to use the land for:

  • Highway expansion
  • New roadways
  • An airport
  • Powerlines
  • Any infrastructure that benefits the general public

Property Owner Rights

Once notified that your property is being condemned, can you fight it? Technically yes, but it is tricky. Because ‘public purpose’ is vague, the government can claim many different reasons for the condemnation are ‘public purpose.’ You’ll have to prove that their reason for condemning your property is not valid or reasonable.

You also have the right to seek a higher settlement offer. The government is only required to make a fair offer, but you may have a different idea of what a fair value is. Typically, you’ll need to bring in an appraiser to learn more about the value of your property. Then, you can request a higher settlement based on the appraised value.

Georgia Real Estate Attorneys

A real estate attorney can help you with your condemnation or eminent domain case. If you want to fight the condemnation of your property altogether or want to receive higher compensation for your property, contact Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC.