Condemnation is the seizure of the private property by the government for public purposes as well as economic development. It involves compensating the owner for seizing the property (Investopedia).
Information regarding procedure of condemnation
Privately owned property can be condemned privately by the probate court.
This exercise must be for public use.
Before beginning the compensation process, compensation must be paid to the land owner.
After condemning the property, probate court should issue the notice within seven days of the commissioner’s report.
It is estimated that probate court charges fee of $45 for the land/property condemnation.
Reasons of condemnation of property
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Infrastructure failure
- Weather catastrophe and structural damage
- Black mold
- Extensive termite damage
- Built with unsafe materials (The team Edge Properties)
All of these problems arise from a larger problem. And one problem can lead to another problem thus leading to the condemning of the property.
After condemnation of property
Sometimes a person can escape condemnation by fixing the damages of the property properly. But if the problem continues then the known owners of the house are asked to evacuate the house. Ultimately this will be the legal battle for the owners.
What is it like a property being condemned?
Simplest explanation to this would be that government will seize the property. It happens when a property is in the way of any government project, or the property is not safe anymore for the residents. Then there would be a need to condemn such property.
A property that is on the verge to be condemned can be an eyesore or threat to the community.
If someone is living in a house that is condemned, your property will be seized by the government. People occupying the property should be asked to leave the property soon.
Government will give warnings to the owner and in some cases may ask the owner to make repairs or required changes in the property. If the owner still doesn’t pay heed to the orders of the court, he/she would be asked to leave the house and get it demolished on their own expense.
Selling condemned property
Selling a condemned property is a bit different task and this process differs from the regular selling process. It is usually sold at a low price than the actual price of the property. So, it is suggested that such property must be sold quickly before its structure weakens and it gets demolished thus lowering its price. Probate makes it easy for you to sell such property without facing many hurdles during the selling process.
Some tips for the property owners
If you are a property owner who is facing condemnation of the property due to above mentioned reasons you can save yourself by adhering to these steps:
Get a good lawyer who knows about local code provisions, regulations and ordinance that the government is relying to show that your property is condemned. Or the building structure needs to be demolished.
If you are not in the position to get the lawyer then you need to learn about code provisions, regulations and ordinances that are being relied on government. You need to learn and see if the government is properly interpreting these provisions, if they can be applied to your property or not.
You can find information about most of the code provisions from municipal department or they can be available online.
There is a specific process and requirements that must be followed by the government before applying the code provisions. These requirements involve:
- Making sure the property owner receives the notice of the violation
- An opportunity to correct violation in a specific time frame
- The ability to appeal a violation determination, if the owner disagrees with it
If you are not in the compliance then make sure not to ignore all the warnings. As if you will keep on ignoring the warnings then you will receive a huge financial burden leading to unpaid fines etc.
If possible, take meaningful and important steps to fix your property. Document all the changes you made as a proof that you making an attempt to comply. As in future you will be provided with an opportunity of hearing you will be able to protect your rights (Owner’s counsel, 2021).
Probate and Condemned Property
By filing a complaint in the probate court in the country in which the property is located, is the first process to start condemnation action. Probate court must set a date for the hearing after the complaint is being filled.
There is a process to it, such as firstly, the complaint is supposed to have a precise statement of the authority for the taking, the interest to be attained, a description sufficient to identify the property, the uses for the property need to be taken and for single piece of property a designation of each defendant who has joined it as an owner.
Only those persons who claim an interest in property or those whose names are known then at that point action is commenced. In this procedure notice would be served to all the defendants who have their names written or they would be added later. During filing additional copies plaintiff would must be giving clerks at least one copy for the defendants uses.
While adding defendants the plaintiff is supposed to deliver to the clerk joint promptly. Each notice must name court, title of the action and also to whom it is directed.
The main content must describe any property other than that to be taken from the defendant’s name and notice must also state that the action is to condemn the property, the interest to be taken, the authority for the taking, what failure to so serve an answer.
It constitutes consent to the taking and to the courts authority to proceed with the action and fix the compensation. A defendant who does not serve an answer may file a notice of appearance and this notice should always consist of name, telephone, number as well as email address of the plaintiff’s attorney. The address within the district in which the action is brought where the attorney may be served is also required.
In U.S., federal government has thee right to condemn the property but if owner doesn’t agree with the process or compensation, he got the right to take the matter in the court.