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What is inverse condemnation?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Real Estate Transactions |

Our readers who are familiar with previous posts here probably already know a bit about eminent domain and how that legal concept might impact their property rights. In short, eminent domain is the process by which a governmental entity or other authorized entity can take private property or property rights for public use, as long as just compensation is paid to the property owner.

What happens if your property is taken without the eminent domain process being completed? That is when the term “inverse condemnation” may come into play.

Inverse condemnation basics

As opposed to an eminent domain legal process that is initiated by the government or another authorized entity, an inverse condemnation process is brought by a property owner against an entity that has taken or impacted the property owner’s rights.

For example, the taking authority may have initiated a public project with the opinion that a certain property owner’s rights wouldn’t be affected – but the project does, in fact, end up doing so. If the taking authority doesn’t pay just compensation, the property owner can initiate an inverse condemnation action to get that compensation.

Our readers should know that the taking does not always have to be an actual, physical acquiring of land or property rights. Economic impact could be an issue, or even regulatory takings could deprive a property owner of the use of their land.

Eminent domain and inverse condemnation actions can get complicated in a hurry. It can be hard for landowners and the taking authority to agree on the actual amount of just compensation that should be paid. If you are facing this type of situation, be sure to get the right information about your legal rights.