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The city wants to build a parking lot for the police department and I have a commercial lot with a house on it that sits right behind the police department. I have heard that they might try and force me to sell my land/house to them. I also have heard that they have done this in the past to someone else for their fire dept. My house is a rental. Can they do this?

6 Thoughts on Can a city force a private home owner to sell their parcel of land for public purposes?
  1. Reply
    bandcamp
    March 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    yes they can.

  2. Reply
    Daniel O
    March 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Yes. In America it is called Eminent Domain, in the UK Compulsory Purchase. They have to pay you a fair price. In the UK it is set by a surveyor, and if you want to challenge it you can take it to the Lands Tribunal. I imagine similar rules apply in the US. It gets complicated if you have a lease, but generally they can acquire both the freehold and the leasehold, or the lease is terminated by statute.

  3. Reply
    chatsplas
    March 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    SURE, that’s called Eminent Domain.
    Supposed to be used only for the Public Good.
    They have to give you FMV, often above, for the house. You negotiate with them, get appraisals, etc.

  4. Reply
    lolly
    March 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    yes — google the words Eminent Domain.

  5. Reply
    Landlord
    March 3, 2013 at 12:10 am

    You betcha. They will try and buy it from your first. But, if you refuse to sell they can literally take via a court order. There is no defense against them, if the public needs your land they will get it.

  6. Reply
    schwildcat1977
    March 3, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Yes it is called eminent domain, and they are supposed to pay market value.

    The owner tends to get screwed, but it is legal.

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