Texas law provides stringent rules for eminent domain

A new law would require towns offer a fair deal when they look to buy homeowners' landGovernor Rick Perry signed into law legislation that seeks to protect the rights of those who own Houston real estate, enacting stricter requirements of governments that seek to obtain ownership of private property through eminent domain.Legislators in support of Senate Bill 18 said local governments looking to seize private property for public use would often make lowball offers to homeowners because they knew they could later take the property through eminent domain. Additionally, some land would be seized without a clear idea of what it would be used for. Senate Bill 18 requires municipalities make a fair offer to homeowners for the property and they explicitly state what the land would be used for before a transaction.If the land isn't put to use within 10 years, the former landowner would also be able to purchase it back at its original price.”I'm proud to sign into law stronger eminent domain provisions protecting Texas landowners from local and state government entities that might consider abusing private property rights,” Governor Perry said.Housing advocates and trade groups also came out in support of the law. Dwight Hale, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said he was pleased the law closes certain loopholes governments might have used to deny homeowners their rights to their Houston properties.Courtesy of 2M Realty News

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