The Office of the Attorney General promulgates the “Landowner’s Bill of Rights” which are required to be provided to landowners in condemnation matters. The Landowner’s Bill of Rights outlines the rights of every landowner in the State of Texas has concerning their property in any condemnation proceeding. To read the full text of the Landowner’s Bill of Rights, click Here. The basic Landowner’s Bill of Rights are as follows:
1. You are entitled to receive adequate compensation if your property is taken for a public use. This means that, in any condemnation proceedings, you are entitled to the fair market value of the property being taken, including an amount for damages to any remaining property after the taking occurs. For instance, if your property is burdened by a transmission line easement, which will affect the remaining property’s fair market value, you are entitled to damages in the amount of the reduced value of the property as determined immediately after the taking occurs.
2. Your property can only be taken for a public use. This means that the government cannot take your property for a private use, i.e. for the benefit of only private individuals or companies. It must be a public use, such as a highway, gas lines, water line, etc..