Eminent domain, or what other countries refer to as compulsory purchase, resumption, land acquisition, or expropriation, is the government’s power to take a private property to be developed into something that would benefit the public.
Although this is primarily the government’s power, it can be delegated by the state to its local units and even to private individuals or corporations, given that they are authorized by the legislature to employ such functions and to use the acquired property for public or civic use or for economic development.
Pros and Cons of Eminent Domain
In real estate, “condemnation by eminent domain” is the term used to point out that the government is taking over a private property. Such power of the state has been a long time issue, especially in the US due to some third-party interests and abuse of power.
Some loopholes of eminent domain include the possible abuse and blackmails by the authorized condemnor, who would bribe the property owner with an amount slightly higher than the property’s market value.
Another is that the mass eviction probability is high, depending on the law of the state. Also, a fair compensation is not always fair, especially to farmers who have lost their crops by eminent domain.
While there are some people who are against eminent domain because of the biases they or their loved ones experienced, some people consider it a good way to make the majority of the public live a more convenient life because of the construction of new highways and roads, public utilities, and business centers.