Your Property
Your Business
Know YOUR Rights

What Is Relocation Assistance and Who Qualifies for It?

Latest News

One of the many unfortunate consequences of having your property taken under eminent domain rules is losing your home or place of business and having to relocate. Besides the inconvenience of having to pack up your belongings and move, you may also have the added trouble and expense of finding a new home or business location that suits your needs. Learn how relocation assistance works for property owners affected by eminent domain takings and see how an attorney can help.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Relocation Assistance?

Even though the government is supposed to provide landowners with just compensation for the taking of their property, the expenses incurred with the process of relocating and finding a new place to live or do business usually surpass the amount the landowner may receive, making it necessary for the landowner to be able to receive additional compensation through a relocation assistance program. Relocation assistance programs can vary depending on the state where you live. In North Carolina, the URA (Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Properties Acquisition Policies Act) is the law that makes relocation assistance available to eligible landowners.

With very few exceptions, any persons or businesses that are required to move because the property is being taken by the government may be eligible to apply for relocation assistance. Besides landowners living on the land, other affected individuals, such as renters, business owners, farm owners, and owners of mobile homes and manufactured homes, may also apply for assistance.

What Kind of Expenses Are Covered by Relocation Assistance?

If you are eligible to receive relocation assistance compensation, the money you receive may be put towards most routine relocation expenses. Those may include transporting people and belongings to the new place; boxing up and packing items; unpacking items in the new location; up to one year of storage services for personal property; insurance premiums for any property damaged or lost in the process of moving or while in storage, and the cost of obtaining any required business permits at the new location.

In addition, tenants who have been displaced may also receive assistance to cover the costs of renting another residence that is comparable to the one being taken. The amount to be paid to the renter usually does not extend beyond a specific period of time – usually 42 months. It is also worth mentioning that a displaced nonprofit organization, farm, or small business may also receive assistance (up to $10,000) to cover the costs of moving to a new location.

Are Assistance Payments Part of What Is Considered “Just Compensation”?

Generally, relocation assistance payments are administrative payments a property owner may receive in addition to payment for the property being taken. This is because “just compensation” is meant to cover the property’s fair market value and any damages sustained by the landowner in the process. The amount an individual or business may receive as relocation assistance varies from just a couple thousand dollars to $30,000 or more, depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

The majority of individuals eligible for relocation assistance can expect to receive their money through reimbursements. For example, once you have completed the process of moving to a new house, you may gather receipts showing your expenses, such as the cost of hiring a moving company and getting supplies such as moving boxes. You can present the receipts to the party in charge of overseeing relocation assistance matters and receive reimbursement for those costs. Renters, on the other hand, may receive monthly payments. In addition, those who claim hardship may be able to receive advance payment in some cases.

Why Should You Hire an Eminent Domain Attorney?

Being forced to move your entire life or business to a new location can be an overwhelming experience. Besides all the stress, you may still have to worry about getting adequately compensated and having your rights respected. At Hansen, Howell & Wilkie, PLLC, we understand how frustrating this process may be. We are here to help you make sure you get maximum compensation for your land and for the financial losses resulting from finding a new location and moving. Contact our law firm at 919-256-5266 to learn more.

Related Articles