Under Georgia’s eminent domain laws, individuals can lose their property if the government declares the property “condemned.” When most people think about condemned property, they may imagine blighted neighborhoods where houses are boarded up. The reality is that some of the homes and properties that are condemned under Georgia’s eminent domain laws look like regular middle class homes and neighborhoods. According to CNN, homes vulnerable to eminent domain and condemnation tend to be located in older working, middle class neighborhoods. Many families and property owners only learn that their homes have been condemned when it’s already too late to take action. Areas near the water or near scenic locations may be more at risk.
Under new eminent domain laws, the government can seize your property and then re-sell it to private developers if it determines that this is in the “public good.” In some cases, the reasons for taking your property can be as simple as the city wanting to collect additional taxes for a more expensive redevelopment project. If your property is being condemned or if your neighborhood is being designated a “slum,” “blighted area,” or “redevelopment area,” you may only have a limited amount of time to act to protect your rights and your property. Contact the Georgia condemnation lawyers at the Evans Law Firm today to learn more and to fight for your rights.
Abuse of Georgia’s Condemnation Laws—A Growing Concern
The government has always been able to seize private property to use it for the public’s interest. In the past, eminent domain laws permitted the government to take private property to build roads, schools, and to improve utilities. Yet, after the recent Supreme Court ruling of Kelo v. City of New London, the government’s ability to use eminent domain to transfer property from one owner to another has been vastly expanded. In the past, private developers had to use the free market to bid to build projects in cities. This often meant negotiating with whole neighborhoods to sell their homes. Homeowners had the choice to not sell, or they could sell, often for prices far above the market value of their homes. Yet, after Kelo v. City of New London, developers no longer need to negotiate with private property owners to get their projects off the ground. Often, they lobby the government to condemn an area. Once the area is condemned, the government can set a market value on the properties. Individuals have no choice but to take the money the government provides them. The private developers then get to buy the land, often either at market value, or well under fair market value as a result of the condemnation.
Condemnation of your property can significantly lower the value of your home or property. This can lead to a scenario where the government may try to seize your property and pay you far less than your property would have been worth had the neighborhood not been condemned. Hard-working middle class families are often affected and can see the values of their homes drop significantly as a result of condemnation. A condemnation lawyer can fight for your rights. If your property values have dropped as a result of the government declaring your neighborhood condemned or subject to redevelopment, Georgia condemnation lawyers may be able to help. In some cases, the seizure cannot be stopped. However, a lawyer may be able to help you get the fair market value of your property adjusted to pre-condemnation levels. The Evans Law Firm understands how devastating eminent domain and condemnation can be to hard-working middle class families. Our firm works hard to protect individuals in Georgia, striving to help families get the fair compensation they deserve for their homes.
What You Can Do If Your Home or Land is Being Condemned in Georgia
If your home, business, or land is facing condemnation in Georgia, it is important to take action to protect your rights. While many people initially react to Georgia’s condemnation laws with disbelief, the reality is that the government can legally seize property under the Fifth Amendment. While the Fifth Amendment protects eminent domain seizure for the public use, eminent domain law is being used to transfer private property to private developers. While many people are fighting to place limits on eminent domain abuse, the reality is that many people lose their homes in America due to the condemnation process. If you’re facing losing your home, a condemnation lawyer may be able to protect your rights. Contact the Georgia condemnation lawyers at the Evans Law Firm today to learn more.