Tag Archives: Business

Relocation Advisory Services – What are they? What happens when they’re not properly provided?

The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA), for federally assisted programs, requires condemning public agencies to provide relocation advisory services as described in CFR 24.205(c).  Find out what can happen to a business while relocating from a public project when the condemning agency stumbles with this requirement, and, hear some solutions.

As a relocation consultant, I’m looking forward to sharing insights on this subject at this seminar:  7th Annual Eminent Domain; Current Developments in Condemnation, Valuation & Challenges, June 5th and 6th 2014, in Portland, OR

Eminent domain attorneys, appraisers, and public agency representatives should hear this.

The seminar is arranged by The Seminar Group.  Following is the link to the agenda and registration: http://www.theseminargroup.net/seminar.lasso?seminar=14.EMDOR


Martyn Daniel LLC provides relocation consulting, cost-to-cure designs and estimates, and replacement cost estimates within the right-of-way industry for public and private sectors around the U.S.


An Overview of Capped Actual Cost Items for Business Owners Affected by Eminent Domain

In my last blog post entitled, “Would You Choose Lump Sum or Actual Cost Relocation Reimbursement? I discussed two reimbursement options available to business owners who must relocated due to eminent domain; lump sum and actual cost.

If a business owner chooses to be reimbursed using actual cost as the basis for the claims, some expenses are capped.

Capped Expenses: Reestablishment (maximum $10,000):

Note that the $10,000 cap mentioned above is the minimum set by the Federal Relocation Guidelines. Some states have higher amounts, some are at $50k or higher, and a few are unlimited. Link to a state-by-state relocation listing here.

1. Repairs or improvement to the replacement property as required by law or code

2. Modification to the replacement property to enable the business to operate

3. Construction and installation of new signage to advertise the business

4. Redecoration or replacement of soiled or worn surfaces such as carpeting, paint, paneling

5. Advertisement of the replacement location

6. Increased cost of operations for two years

7. Other items considered essential to the reestablishment of the business

Since an eminent domain and business relocation consultant’s services are an eligible cost when opting for the actual cost for a planned relocation, the capped items listed above are where a consultant’s expertise is important.

For example, #2 – capped within the $10,000 (depending on your state or location) is ‘modification to the replacement property to enable the business to operate’.  A consultant with construction experience can suggest modifications which are contained within that reimbursement amount.

On the other hand, a business owner may simply look at a replacement property (if he even has the time to search for properties) and believe that hefty modifications leading to out-of-pocket expenses is the only solution to enable the business to operate.

Can you see why an eminent domain and business relocation consultant’s services are absolutely necessary to the seamless transition in an eminent domain move?

In my next blog post, I will compare actual cost estimates for relocation for small businesses versus acceptance of the lump sum.

Do you have any questions about the capped amount in your state?

Can I Get Business Damages for Eminent Domain?


If you are a Florida business owner being threatened with an eminent domain condemnation, you may be very aware of how critical the risk to your business can be.  For many businesses, your shopfront is your business.  Walk-up traffic, drive-by traffic, association with a community or complementary businesses can all be mainstays of your client base. An eminent domain condemnation of your property threatens all of these. You can probably think of several successful businesses that moved and never survived, even if their new location was supposedly “better.” As all of these things are going through your mind, you may wonder whether the full compensation promised you in the Florida constitution includes these potential losses.

Business Damages not Constitutional

Unfortunately, business damages are not considered part of the constitutionally guaranteed “just” or “full” compensation. Lost profits, lost goodwill, loss of walk-up traffic, and other types of business losses are not considered “property” in the sense that guarantees compensation under the terms of the constitution.  Instead, they are considered intangibles that can sometimes be compensated “by legislative grace.”  In other words, sometimes business damages are granted by specific laws, but they are not generally guaranteed.

Specific Guarantees for Business Damages

In Florida, there is a very specific definition of when a business is eligible for damages.  In order for your business to qualify for business damages, all the following must be true:

The eminent domain condemnation must be a “partial taking,” which takes only part of the property The remainder (not taken part of the property) is also part of the business The property is being taken for a qualifying “right of way” including roads and water-related improvements The portion of the property to be taken damages or destroys a business established in its current location for at least five years The property owner is also the business owner Losing the taken property is the cause of business damageIf all of these are true, then your business may qualify for business damages.  Whether you qualify for business damages will be determined at the eminent domain hearing, but the exact amount of damages will not be determined until a later hearing.

Other Ways to Be Compensated for Business Losses

The above determination for business damages is very strict, and only a small number of businesses affected by eminent domain actually qualify.  However, there are other methods of receiving compensation for damage to your business.  If your business is properly appraised, fair market value will include the likely or potential loss to your business based on losing your current property.  This is done by considering the value of your land at its “highest and best use” and considering the cost of producing a comparable building at a new site.  In addition, an appraiser will factor in the cost of any equipment that must be replaced or moved.

For business owners, it is especially important to ensure you receive every measure of compensation for your business property. To learn more about getting the most for your property, visit the website of the Florida Property Rights Law Firm, P.A.

Disclaimer- Martyn L. Daniel represents both private parties and public agencies and provides these blog entries as a general overview on eminent domain related news.