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See some of Saul Fenchel's eminent domain articles covering various subjects in Eminent Domain Condemnation.

Can the government inspect my property?

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The appraisers, engineers and/or inspectors for the condemning authority have the right to inspect property (even before the formal taking) for purpose of gathering information upon which to base an appraisal. This inspection can include environmental testing. The appraiser should be given access to the premises and, in fact, has a right to access the premises. Failure to cooperate could result in a delay of the issuance of the advance payment. By this point, you should have retained or consulted with counsel on the taking or proposed taking. It is good practice to have all information and inspection requests directed to your counsel. This is especially so where the inspection is more than visual and involves destructive or invasive environmental testing. Under those circumstances the government can be compelled to put up a bond to indemnify against damages.

You should keep a record of which government appraisers, engineers and/or inspectors visit the premises, the date of their visit and the time spent by them in the premises. The government’s appraiser or representative should contact you in advance to arrange a time that is mutually convenient and not appear without notifying you first.

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