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How To Prevent Your Property From Being Taken By Eminent Domain by@brianwallace

How To Prevent Your Property From Being Taken By Eminent Domain

Brian Wallace Hacker Noon profile picture

Brian Wallace

Founder @ NowSourcing. Contributor @ Hackernoon, Advisor @GoogleSmallBiz, Podcaster, infographics

When you learn about eminent domain in school, it seems like a foreign and shocking concept.  However, eminent domain cases take place more than we would think.

One of the most challenging things about eminent domain is that it is not commonly reported by states.  This makes it very difficult to get an accurate representation and keep track of all the cases in the United States.

In 2020, there were 224 cases of eminent domain reported in Texas alone.  These were enacted by government or private entities that wanted to obtain land. However, it was reported that five agencies failed to meet the legislative burden of the state of Texas to prove that they met the requirements to utilize eminent domain. 

Missouri’s Department of Transportation obtained 608 parcels of land in 2019. Of these parcels 430 were solved by negotiation, 178 were donated by the owner, and only two needed a condemnation lawsuit.  While this may seem like a lot of cases, only 54 were reported as condemnation filings. 

One of the legal conditions for eminent domain is that the owner of the property must receive just compensation for their home.  In this case, the property owner has a lot of power. They can attempt to negotiate a high property value price with the help of legal aid and appraisers. 

In Chicago, over 75% of eminent domain cases are able to obtain a higher price for their property.  They typically see an average return between 100% to 150% higher than they would get if they sold their property on the housing market. 

However, this is not always the truth.  A study found that 58% of residents that get their property taken through eminent domain are renters.  This means that because there is no paperwork or proof of their ownership, the majority of the money won in a settlement will go to the property owner.  Now, the renter may not have a place to live or can not afford to find another place to live.

Started with good intentions, eminent domain is now another governmental power that has evolved against American citizens.