An older couple looking at a notice from the government about eminent domain.

Understanding How Eminent Domain Can Affect You Is Critical

On Behalf of Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire LLP
Oct 25, 2021

If you’re a private property owner in California, it’s essential to understand how eminent domain works. While you may be happy living in your home or operating your business, if the government requires the location for public use, you will have to abide by their guidelines and receive compensation for the property. Understanding more about your rights regarding eminent domain is critical if you’re in this position.

How Does Eminent Domain Work?

From time to time, a government body, such as a city or county municipality, will require private property owners to forfeit their home or business property and be provided just compensation. If you’re in this position, it can help to understand the three types of takings that can occur.

If your entire property is needed, the government will perform a complete taking of your property. A partial taking occurs if they only need a portion of the property for public use, and temporary taking involves using your property for a fixed period.

Getting Compensated For Your Property By the Government

When the government is enforcing eminent domain and decides it needs your property for public use, they are required to compensate you fairly. To derive an amount that is considered fair, one of these three approaches is usually utilized:

  • Market approach
  • Income approach
  • Cost approach

While you’re supposed to be offered a just price as compensation for your property, you may disagree. Disputing the price paid for your property is an option you can take. To do so, you will need to proceed through a condemnation hearing. In it, the court determines where the fair market value of the property resides.

Understanding how eminent domain works will help ensure you get paid a fair amount if the government is taking your property.