Easements & Eminent Domain: Understanding Your Rights

Owning property in North Carolina can subject you to terms such as easements and eminent domain. When someone contacts you about either real estate topic, it is best to protect your best interests and contact a North Carolina eminent domain lawyer. Signing any documents without legal representation can cause you stress and potentially harm the ownership of your property. 

Understanding Easements

An easement is the right of a person, company, or government agency to use a land owner’s property for a specific, public purpose. There are different types of easements:

  • Temporary: An entity may use eminent domain to access your land for temporary projects, such as construction work. Once the project is completed, you regain full ownership of your property. 
  • Permanent: A permanent easement applies to those involving an entity purchasing the right to use a portion of your property for the public good. You cannot use this section of your land in any way that will interfere with the easement. 

Examples of a permanent easement include:

  • Utility
  • Aerial utility
  • Drainage
  • Slope

Another essential consideration involving easements is that of ingress and egress.  Again, access to a property is crucial in cases where a landowner is “landlocked,” meaning they have no way to enter or exit without using another person’s property.

An easement providing ingress and egress is sometimes included in a property deed. Researching and identifying issues involving ingress and egress takes valuable time and attention to detail. 

Unfortunately, your work and family obligations may leave you no extra time to work on your case. 

Any real estate transactions involving your property rights demand caution.  You must understand the terms of your contract and the possible long-term consequences of accepting less than you deserve for compensation. 

Eminent Domain 101

The phrase eminent domain refers to the ability of the federal, state, or local government to take private property for public use. Easements are a common factor when it comes to eminent domain.

Eminent domain is traditionally used for such public work as North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) road projects.

At the core of eminent domain is the issue of just compensation for the property. The compensation offered must reflect fair market value. If you receive a notice about eminent domain and your property, do not sign anything without hiring an attorney. 

Signing a contract and accepting compensation makes it impossible to seek changes or to challenge the agreement later. As a result, many property owners face remorse for not fighting for what they feel is their land’s true, and fair, market value.

Eminent domain is protected by the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment contains specific language regarding your right to fair compensation. 

Legal issues involving land and property owner rights are complex. Managing your case alone can leave you feeling stressed and confused about North Carolina real estate laws. 

At Green Mistretta Law, we can put our experience to work for you. We understand the legal issues that typically arise in cases involving easements and eminent domain. Our team can easily spot tactics designed to underpay you by those seeking access to your property. 

Your North Carolina Property Rights Lawyer

Property owners take great pride in their land, whether it is their home, business, or investment. From property owned for generations to recently acquired property, you have rights. 

When an entity requires access to your land for a public project, they, too, have rights that allow them to condemn your property. To clarify, this is not the same type of condemnation as another agency — like that of a health department — may use to condemn a business, home, or space. 

As North Carolina property rights and real estate lawyers, we help landowners navigate important property issues. Large utility companies or state agencies are highly skilled at topics like eminent domain and easements. They will protect their best interests, making it vital that you protect yours. 

Get Help With Your Eminent Domain or Easement Issue Today

Road construction or utility projects are typically designed to help the public good. Therefore, access to your property can serve to benefit everyone, including you. However, expansions, improvements, or any other type of project should not come at a high cost to you.

As with most real estate transactions, the buyer generally seeks to pay as little as possible. Therefore, while we cannot prevent the use of eminent domain from occurring, we can protect your best interest when it comes to compensation.

The word condemnation is frightening, especially when the term applies to a portion of your property. However, you do not have to deal with your real estate problems alone. 

Green Mistretta Law Fights for North Carolina Property Owners

Get the help you need with your eminent domain or easement issue by contacting Green Mistretta Law today. The sooner we can review your information, the faster we can get to work for you.

No case involving eminent domain or easements is alike. The outcome of your case depends upon various factors, all specific to your land and the purpose behind the plans for condemnation. 

At Green Mistretta Law, we offer confidential, no-obligation consultations. Scheduling a case consultation can help to ease your mind and to inform you of how a lawyer can help your case. 

You deserve fair market value for your property. Let a member of our team manage your case to continue to focus on your daily tasks. We take great pride in our customer service, providing clients with timely updates regarding their cases. 

If you receive an offer for eminent domain compensation and feel overwhelmed and unsure what to do, contact us today. A case consultation is the first step forward to protecting your right to fair compensation.