What Is Condemnation in Real Estate?

February 24, 2022 – Media Mention
U.S. News

Herrick Eminent Domain co-chair Jennifer Polovetsky was featured in a U.S. News article discussing condemnation and what it can mean for property owners.

Jennifer explained, "Condemnation is a forced sale[.]" She added that the terms of eminent domain can be broad, saying, "It’s almost anything... anything that benefits the public." 

The article outlined what the condemnation process can look like for property owners. Jennifer reflected, "In New York, they can take your property and pay you later," adding, "In other states, they have to pay you before."

The article noted another relevant topic, inverse condemnation, in which "a government agency takes action that can negatively impact a property, but they haven’t exercised their right to eminent domain."

Jennifer said, "Inverse condemnation is very hard to prove[.]" She gave an example of how the government often minimizes negative impacts without compensating for the entire property value: if a railway were built near a home, "They will mitigate your damages by giving you soundproof windows[.]" 

Jennifer concluded by stressing the importance of a qualified attorney saying, "It’s a very specific, niche practice[.]" She recommended that property owners find a lawyer prior to the initial public hearing. She empathized, "It’s stressful, (and) it’s scary[.]"

Read the full article in U.S. News here. Access may require a subscription.