Georgia property owners may be surprised to learn that they could lose a significant portion of privately owned property if the government decides to take it. Under the principle of eminent domain, it is possible for a government agency to claim land from a private owner as long as it is for the good of the public. Examples of when the government may do this include when there is a need for the expansion of roads, installation of utility lines and more.
If you are a property owner and you receive notice that the government intends to claim some of your property, you have the right to fight back. In exchange for claiming your property, the government must offer you fair compensation for property lost. You may also have grounds to challenge an eminent domain claim if it could present any threat to the local environment, including waterways, wildlife and more.
A proper value for your property
The government may offer you a certain price for the property it intends to take, but you do not have to accept the first offer. You have a right to a price that represents the true value of your property. Factors that can determine what your land could be worth include:
- Land use
- Size of the property
- Zoning designation
- Current use and potential uses
- Existing buildings and roads on the property
Additionally, your property could be worth more if it represents how you earn your livelihood, especially if you own a farm or maintain livestock. If you plan to challenge the claim to your property or fight for an amount that is fair for the land the government wants to take, you will benefit from understanding how you can pursue the most beneficial outcome to your individual situation.
Seeking a fair solution
It is not easy to challenge the government in eminent domain cases. However, you do not have to navigate this process on your own. Careful assessment of your case can provide you with insight regarding how you can seek a fair solution.
In cases where the intended action of the government could compromise the integrity of the local environment, it may be possible to prove that the claim to your property is not valid or appropriate. You have the right to fight for your privately owned property, as well as the preservation of the property adjoining the land in question.