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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110573
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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What is eminent domain? I have been living in a house for over

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What is eminent domain? I have been living in a house for over a year, having been allowed to move in, so I could eventually purchase the home from a relative. I had to do some initial work on the house with the plumbing, because the house had been vandalized, and the copper pipes were destroyed from the water heater. The mortgage holder for over a year through the owner has refused my constant request for conversation to purchase I have not been able to speak with them for over a year, after trying to communicate off and on throughout the year. Now the HOA states they are the primary lean holders and according to Texas law the owners of said property and are going to start proceeding to evict me. As you can guess there is much more to this story, nevertheless I would like to know the rights I may or may not have under eminent domain to claim this house plus what I have put into it so far financially. I live in texas.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Eminent domain, I am afraid, does not have anything to do with your situation. Under Texas law, “eminent domain” refers to a governmental entity’s legal authority to force a private landowner to sell his or her real property for public use. When the government exercises its eminent domain authority and takes a landowner’s private property, the governmental entity must pay the landowner just compensation. See: City of Austin v. Nalle, 120 S.W. 996 (Tex. 1909).

This is a matter between you and the relative selling you the house. The mortgage company cannot talk with you unless the relative gives you a written power of attorney specifying you have their authority to deal with the property and the mortgage.

As far as the HOA, the HOA retains a lien in Texas for any back due fees, so you are going to have to get some written agreement with them to resolve the dues that are owed.

If you have put money into the house, you can file your own lien on the house for the money due you that you paid into the house that does not belong to you. If the HOA has filed a lien already on the house, your lien would be third in line to their lien and the mortgage I am afraid under Texas law.

You do not have any rights at this point to claim ownership over the house. Your dispute is a breach of contract with your relative over ownership and the amount of money you put into his house and to stop the HOA from foreclosing on their lien you will have to settle with them.

If you have receipts for payment to the HOA, you need to clarify whether those went to current dues or past due amounts owed, but either way you still have to negotiate that lien with them.

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