According to the U.S. Constitution, the government cannot take a person’s land unless they provide them with just compensation. The process of the government taking private land for public use is known as eminent domain. A property owner may wonder what “just compensation” actually means.
Just compensation usually means making sure the property owner is in the same position as if they land takeover did not happen. This generally means that the landowner is entitled to the value of the land. However, property valuation is often a point of dispute in eminent domain cases.
In many eminent domain cases, the property value is determined by the fair market value at the time of the taking by the government. However, this amount is not always agreed upon by the property owner and government. A determination of fair market value is dependent on the factual circumstances of the case. Fair market value considerations that may be taken into account include:
- Size of property
- Current or potential use
- Unique characteristics
- Level of development
Just compensation typically does not include the cost of moving, time, or stress endured by the property owner. If a person is facing loss of property due to eminent domain in Ohio it can be important to speak with an attorney. An attorney understands that eminent domain cases are complex as every property being taken is different. The entity taking the property may also pressure the landowner into making a quick deal without first considering the value of the property. Representation by experienced and aggressive council is key in making sure the property owner receives just compensation.