This Landowner’s Bill of Rights applies to any attempt by the
government or a private entity to take your property.
The contents of this Bill of Rights are prescribed by the
Texas Legislature in Texas Government Code Sec. 402.031
and Chapter 21 of the Texas Property Code.
The information in this statement is intended to be a
summary of the applicable portions of Texas state law
as required by HB 1495, enacted by the 80th Texas
Legislature, Regular Session. This statement is not
legal advice and is not a substitute for legal counsel.
You are entitled to receive adequate compensation if your
property is taken for a public use.
Your property can only be taken for a public use.
Your property can only be taken by a governmental entity
or private entity authorized by law to do so.
The entity that wants to take your property must notify
you that it wants to take your property.
The entity proposing to take your property must provide
you with a written appraisal from a certified appraiser
detailing the adequate compensation you are owed for
The entity proposing to take your property must make
a bona fide offer to buy the property before it files
a lawsuit to condemn the property – which means the
condemning entity must make a good faith offer that
conforms with Chapter 21 of the Texas Property Code.
You may hire an appraiser or other professional to
determine the value of your property or to assist
you in any condemnation proceeding.
You may hire an attorney to negotiate with the
condemning entity and to represent you in any
legal proceedings involving the condemnation.
Before your property is condemned, you are entitled
to a hearing before a court appointed panel that
includes three special commissioners. The special
commissioners must determine the amount of
compensation the condemning entity owes for the
taking of your property. The commissioners must
also determine what compensation, if any, you are
entitled to receive for any reduction in value
of your remaining property.
If you are unsatisfied with the compensation awarded
by the special commissioners, or if you question
whether the taking of your property was proper, you
have the right to a trial by a judge or jury. If
you are dissatisfied with the trial court’s
judgment, you may appeal that decision.