Avant & Mitchell, L.P.
Avant & Mitchell, LP is a firm with dedicated staff and extensive experience in all levels of condemnation and valuation disputes. We understand the constitutional right to fair compensation and Texas Condemnation Law.
Whether you are an owner or owner's representative, a tenant, a Real Estate Broker, or an attorney who specializes in areas of law other than condemnation, feel free to call to discuss your situation in person with an experienced Texas Condemnation Lawyer. We are committed to providing personal attention and straightforward information. We do not charge a fee for initial consultations.
This site has links to information on several common topics of inquiry as a public service. Feel free to call with your specific questions.
Information on the following is included:
- What is Eminent Domain?
- The Condemnation Process
- What property owners should know
- Trans Texas Corridor
- Property Owner’s Rights
- Inverse Condemnation
- Land Use & Zoning
- Fair Compensation
- Resource Links
What is eminent domain?
Eminent domain is the inherent power of the government to take private property for the use and benefit of the public. Our Constitution and laws provide that just and adequate compensation be paid to someone whose property is needed for public use. The compensation to which a person is entitled is based on the value of the property taken and the diminution in value of the remaining property, if any, caused by the taking. An occupant may be entitled to additional compensation such as relocation assistance for residential or commercial properties that are no longer suitable for their use.
The Texas Condemnation (Eminent Domain) Process
The condemnation process is a specialized legal procedure designed to protect property owners and insure fair compensation. The body of law is comprised of State and Federal Constitutional Law the Texas Property Code, and a developing body of case law that, together, establish procedural and substantive rules for the valuation of property in a way that is different from typical real estate appraisal practices. In order to properly evaluate an offer received from the government or other condemnor for your property, it is necessary to evaluate it within this specialized context. It is nearly impossible to properly evaluate a condemnor’s offer or prepare for condemnation without the assistance of a knowledgeable condemnation practitioner, the specifics of the project for which the property is condemned, and the characteristics of the property sought by the government.
While a property owner may be able to stop a taking, usually the government has the right to take the property it seeks. However, the law provides protections for the property owner, if timely demanded. Among these protections and rights of a property owner is the right to be paid adequate and just compensation for the property sought by the government and the right to be paid damages for any decrease in value of the property owner’s remaining land and improvements caused by the compensable effects of the taking.
Condemnation is the legal process through which the government or certain approved companies can take or impair private property. Each owner has specific legal rights guaranteed by law. An offer from the government cannot be effectively evaluated without awareness of your entitlements and the condemnation procedure. An attorney experienced in condemnation matters can help you understand your options.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are my rights?
- How does the condemnation process work?
- Can I contest the government’s offer to purchase my property?
- Can I get compensation for the damage done to my property not taken?
- Should I hire a lawyer?
- I lease space and I heard that my building will be affected by a government taking. Do I have any right to compensation?
- What can I do to keep the government from taking my property?
- Will a lease on the property affect a tenant (lessee) or landlord (lessor)?
- Will all or part of my property be taken?
- What are the impacts of view, existing elevations, future elevations, access, and driveway construction close to my building?
- What if I own adjacent property?
- What about economic damage to my remaining property or change in its use or potential caused by the condemnation or construction on the property condemned?
- What type of damage to my property value is compensable?
- Is loss of visibility compensable?
- Are access problems compensable?
- What if my view is blocked?
- What is the impact on Outdoor Advertising signs?
- Do I have to allow a pipeline on my land?
There are certain types of damage for which you may not, by law, receive compensation. Recognizing the compensable elements and information needed to establish them is of paramount importance.
To find out more, contact Avant & Mitchell for a free initial consultation. We represent property owners throughout Texas, including those affected by right of way acquisitions for the Trans Texas Corridor project, Interstate Highway, Texas State Highway and utility corridors. If you have questions about eminent domain and condemnation, call us at 512-478-5757.
Avant & Mitchell, LP
1301 Nueces St. Suite 200
Austin, TX 78701
Attorney responsible for this site content: Jeff Avant
Toll Free: 877-812-4263