Georgia Landowner’s Bill of Rights
The Landowner’s Bill of Rights was signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2006 and became Section 22-1-9 to address eminent domain policy and to protect private landowners in Georgia against the abuse of eminent domain.
Georgia Landowner’s Bill of Rights
1. The condemning authority shall make every reasonable effort to acquire expeditiously real property by negotiation;
2. Where the condemning authority seeks to obtain a fee simple interest in real property, real property shall be appraised before the initiation of negotiations, and the owner or his or her designated representatives shall be given an opportunity to accompany the appraiser during his or her inspection of the property, except that the condemning authority may, by law, rule, regulation, or ordinance, prescribe a procedure to waive the appraisal in cases involving the acquisition by sale or donation of property with a low fair market value;
3. Before the initiation of negotiations for fee simple interest for real property, the condemning authority shall establish an amount which it believes to be just compensation and shall make a prompt offer to acquire the property for the full amount so established. In no event shall such amount be less than the condemning authority’s independent appraisal of the fair market value of such property. The condemning authority shall provide the owner of real property to be acquired with a written statement of, and summary of the basis for, the amount it established as just compensation. Where appropriate, the just compensation for the real property acquired and for damages to remaining real property shall be separately stated. The condemning authority shall consider alternative sites suggested by the owner of the property as of the compensation offered;
4. No owner shall be required to surrender possession of real property before the condemning authority pays the agreed purchase price or deposits with the court in accordance with this title, for the benefit of the owner, an amount not less than the condemning authority’s appraisal of the fair market value of such property or the amount of the award of compensation in the condemnation proceeding for such property;
5. The construction or development of a project for public use shall be so scheduled that, to the greatest extent practicable, no person lawfully occupying real property shall be required to move from a dwelling or to move his or her business or farm operation without at least 90 days’ written notice from the condemning authority of the date by which such move is required;
6. If the condemning authority permits an owner or tenant to occupy the real property acquired on a rental basis for a short-term or for a period subject to termination by the condemning authority on short notice, the amount of rent required shall not exceed the fair rental value of the property to a short-term occupier;
7. In no event shall the condemnor act in bad faith in order to compel an agreement on the price to be paid for the property;
8. If any legal interest in real property is to be acquired by exercise of the power of eminent domain, the condemning authority shall institute formal condemnation proceedings. No condemnor shall intentionally make it necessary for an owner to institute legal proceedings to prove the fact of the taking of his or her real property; and
9. A person whose real property is being acquired in accordance Georgia law may, after the person has been fully informed of his or her right to receive just compensation for such property, donate such property, any part thereof, any legal interest therein, or any compensation paid to a condemning authority, as such person shall determine.