Property condemnation (or simply “condemnation”) is the process by which a government or governmental agency acquires private property under eminent domain. Eminent domain is the authority that gives the federal government, as well as states and their agencies, the authority to take property for public use in consideration for the payment to the landowner of fair value for the property being taken. Condemnation thus is the act and process carried out to acquire the property.
Why is it called “Condemnation”?
The term “condemnation” is used because as the process is being carried out and the property taken, the property ceases to have any value or use to the landowner (other than the landowner’s right to receive fair compensation). The landowner then cannot realistically do anything that might have long-term value to the property, as the government will soon own the property, and will likely tear down any structures thereon.