Eminent Domain Insight: Relocation Fees for Adjacent Properties

Sophia R. Holley

In Ohio, a condemning authority has the power to take private property for public use through eminent domain. This power is limited, however, by the requirements under the United States and Ohio Constitutions that require the condemning authority to pay just compensation for this take. And in Ohio, this “just compensation” includes relocation fees as prescribed by statute.

While it seems natural that compensation is owed for the property subject to appropriation, under Ohio statute adjoining properties may also be entitled to relocation fees. Ohio law provides that, whenever the acquisition of real property for a program or project undertaken by a displacing agency will result in the displacement of any person, the head of agency must make payment to that displaced person. 

For example, if a person was displaced from a residence through eminent domain, and simultaneously owned personal property in a garage located outside the take area, that displaced person could reasonably seek compensation for relocating the contents of the garage.

The purpose of the Ohio statute governing relocation costs is to compensate persons required to move because of action undertaken by the government for a public use. Property owners should evaluate their legal options for compensation, even if they are not subject to a direct appropriation action, and even if the government takes less than fee simple ownership of their property.

Should you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Sophia Holley.

Sophia R. Holley

KMK Law articles and blog posts are intended to bring attention to developments in the law and are not intended as legal advice for any particular client or any particular situation. The laws/regulations and interpretations thereof are evolving and subject to change. Although we will attempt to update articles/blog posts for material changes, the article/post may not reflect changes in laws/regulations or guidance issued after the date the article/post was published. Please consult with counsel of your choice regarding any specific questions you may have.


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