As a property owner, it’s crucial to understand the government’s power over your property and what legal rights you have. Eminent domain, often called condemnation, is generally identified as the power of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to take private property for public use without the owner’s consent, conditioned upon the payment of just compensation. Here’s more information from the skilled real estate attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey. 

Understanding Eminent Domain

Eminent domain actions revolve around two separate topics: 

  • The right of the Commonwealth to take the property in question, as the taking has to be proven to be for a public purpose. 
  • The determination of fair compensation for the property.

In general, it’s very difficult to defeat the right of the Commonwealth to condemn private property. Therefore, the primary legal battle typically pertains to the determination of fair compensation for the property. 

By rule, the government first approaches a property owner and proposes a price that it will pay for the real estate to be acquired. If the property owner considers that sum unacceptable, it’s beneficial to seek legal counsel. 

How a Real Estate Attorney Fights for You 

The legal mechanism utilized in eminent domain is a complex and unique statutory framework. Keep in mind that the government has already advanced through an extensive process before approaching you, the homeowner, with a notice of eminent domain acquisition.   

However, a savvy real estate attorney understands the power of negotiation. Together, you can devise a strategy that ensures fair restitution for the sacrifice of your asset. Your legal partner, who has valuable local knowledge, will research the validity of the public intention for the acquisition, assess fair market values, and compare other cases of eminent domain to provide a baseline for negotiations and the security of your rightful compensation.

While you might not be able to stop an eminent domain action, you and your legal team can certainly reinforce the importance of your asset and why it holds particular and just value.