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

What if my property has building violations?

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In contrast to environmental remediation, if there are building department or health department violations which have been placed on the property and not officially removed, the cost of clearing up such violations could become a deduction from the award of just compensation as of taking date (e.g., emergency repair liens). The property owner, so as to effectively deal with the condemning authority’s deduction, should:

(i) Maintain a copy of the notice of violation(s).

(ii) Detail what work was done (if any) to remove the violations or any part of them, even though not officially removed.

(iii) Preserve all documents showing that the work was done to remove any violations, including contracts and canceled checks.

If violations have not been removed, an estimate should be obtained from a contractor or an engineer on the cost of the removal of these violations. This could become an important issue in the valuation trial or settlement.

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