Eminent Domain Relocation Compensation Explained
When the government decides to take your property under eminent domain, the prospect of losing your home is just one possibility you face.
If you are unable to successfully challenge the taking of your home, you will also have to find a new place to live, possibly even buy a new home, which can be a long process.
You may have to:
- pack all your belongings
- hire movers
- install new services, such as electricity and cable
- buy new furniture or appliances suitable for your new house
When your property is taken under the power of eminent domain, the law requires that fair compensation, known as “just compensation,” must be offered. The typical definition of just compensation is the property’s fair-market value, but it can also encompass much more than that. The objective of eminent domain relocation compensation should be to make you “whole” – so that you are in the same position you were in before the taking, neither poorer nor richer.
State and Federal Eminent Domain Relocation Compensation Law
In some cases, eminent domain laws entitle property owners to compensation for relocation expenses. The laws governing relocation expenses vary from state to state, and in North Carolina, relocation assistance is available under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA).
The amount of eminent domain relocation compensation available will vary from case to case, and not everyone will be eligible. Relocation benefits in condemnation proceedings may include money to cover the expenses of moving and assistance in finding an appropriate new location to which you can move. In some cases, hardship benefits may also be paid.
At the federal level, URA provides compensation for moving expenses and related relocation expenses (such as rent increases or a down payment) when an individual’s property is taken under eminent domain for a federal project.
Eminent Domain Relocation Compensation Expenses
If you are forced to relocate your home or business, eminent domain law says you are generally eligible to be paid for the following relocation expenses:
- Transporting people and property to a replacement site
- Packing and crating personal property and unpacking and uncrating it on the other end
- Dismantling elements of the acquired site that the government does not want
- Storage costs for property (for up to one year)
- The cost of advertising for and obtaining bids from movers
- Insurance premiums for property lost or damaged in storage or during the move
- Obtaining business permits at the destination site
- Rent or down payment supplement (for individuals)
- Closing costs (for individuals)
- Payment to cover increased mortgage interest rates (for individuals)
A displaced farm, nonprofit organization, or small business may qualify for up to $10,000 to establish the business at a new location.
Certain relocation costs are not covered:
- Ordinary costs of living or running or operating a business in the new location
- Interest on a loan to cover moving expenses
- The costs of finding a replacement home or business site
Why Hire A North Carolina Eminent Domain Lawyer?
The cost of losing your home is much greater than just the fair market value of your home because moving all of your personal property and establishing a new home elsewhere can be an expensive and difficult process. If you have to move your business because your property was taken under eminent domain, you will face even greater expenses trying to re-establish your business operations at a new location.
You may not have to bear all of these expenses. A qualified North Carolina eminent domain lawyer at the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm may be able to help you get compensated for relocation or re-establishment expenses that you face as a result of your move. Our firm is led by three former Assistant Attorneys General who represented the North Carolina Department of Transportation handling some of their largest cases. Our experienced eminent domain team members often are able to push issues to those in the DOT who have higher levels of authority and may be able to grant larger settlements and relocation compensation.
Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that if we don’t recover any additional compensation over what the government offered you, we don’t collect an attorney’s fee. Even if you don’t ultimately hire an attorney, we encourage you to have one review your case and give you advice.
Call us at 1-877-393-4990 for a free evaluation of your case and find out how we may be able to answer your questions about eminent domain relocation compensation. Or contact us and describe your situation to our eminent domain team using this online form.