Homeowners and business owners that are affect when the government wants to exercise its eminent domain rights may wonder if they have any recourse. Under Florida law, before condemnation proceedings can move forward, negotiations between the government and the landowner must be attempted.

Negotiating fair and appropriate compensation

If the government is looking to commence eminent domain proceedings, they must try to negotiate with the landowner in good faith. This means that the government must provide the landowner with an offer of compensation in writing. Also, if the landowner wants the appraisal that the offer is based on, the government must supply a copy of said appraisal. Ultimately, when pursuing negotiations there must be an attempt to reach an agreement on what constitutes fair and appropriate compensation.

The timeline for negotiations

The landowner is given 30 days from receipt of the written offer to respond before the government can file a condemnation proceeding. This offer must be sent by certified mail, with return receipt requested, to the landowner’s most recent address. In addition, the government can have the offer personally delivered to the landowner.

Make sure you know your rights

This is only a basic overview of what must happen before condemnation proceedings can begin. In addition to written offers and negotiation, legal notice must be provided to landowners, which is not discussed in this post. Ultimately, it is important that landowners facing eminent domain understand what their rights are. Experienced attorneys may be a useful resource in such situations.