You get a letter from a government agency notifying you that your property will be needed for a public project. Now what? Here are three things you should know:

  1. You’re entitled to an appraiser. This is vital. You want to have your own expert to provide you with an opinion on what your property sought by the condemning authority is worth. In some circumstances, the condemning authority may be responsible for paying your reasonable appraiser costs.
  2. You’re entitled to the construction plans. This, too, is vital. You’ll need to know precisely what is planned for the property the condemning authority wants to take (for example, the installation of utility lines, roads, sidewalks, and other structures) AND you’ll need to know where the condemning authority plans to put its infrastructure (above-ground, below-ground, or in the air). You may need to hire an engineer in order to review the plans, which takes us to the third thing you need to know about condemnation right now.
  3. You’re entitled to a lawyer. This is the most important thing to know. Your lawyer should be familiar with the condemnation statutes and case law and should know a number of appraisers, engineers, and other professionals who can help you maximize your damages claim for your property sought by the condemning authority. The condemning authority is responsible for paying attorney fees, as set forth in Florida Statutes Section 73.092.

Know your rights. If you have any questions or concerns on condemnation, please feel free to reach out to me at