Guide to Inverse Condemnation in Florida and Local Laws

Inverse condemnation occurs when the government takes private property for public use without going through the formal eminent domain process. In Florida, there are specific considerations that property owners should be aware of when dealing with inverse condemnation cases. 

If you believe you are involved in an inverse condemnation dispute, it is crucial to secure legal aid to protect your rights and safeguard your investments.

Eminent Domain vs. Inverse Condemnation?

Eminent domain is a provision under the Fifth Amendment that allows the government to seize private property for public use. The purpose is to acquire land for projects that serve and benefit the public, such as:

  • Roads and highways for public commute
  • Parks for community benefit
  • Necessary utilities, such as water, power, and gas lines
  • Schools for compulsory education

Eminent domain requires the government to provide the property owner with:

  • Adequate notice to the owner before seizing the property.
  • An appraisal of the property to determine its value.
  • A good faith deposit.
  • Evidence to support why the government needs to seize the property.
  • Just compensation for the value or destruction of the property.

However, it may be considered inverse condemnation when the government takes or damages private property without following proper legal procedures. Instances can include:

  • Flooding
  • Incessant noise
  • Pollution 
  • Regulations that deprive the property owner of all or an enormous part of the property’s value. Examples include zoning, environmental, or historic preservation laws.

The government is required by law to afford property owners their right to due process. Consequently, property owners must prove that the government’s action resulted in a significant loss of their property’s use, enjoyment, value, or benefit. Consider consulting an experiences attorney to better understand your options.

Examples of Inverse Condemnation

Inverse condemnation can take many forms, depending on the nature and extent of the government’s action and the impact on the property owner. Consider the following:

  • Physical Taking: The government physically occupies, invades, or destroys private property. 
    • Example: The government builds a road through your property, limiting the value or use of the property.
  • Regulatory Taking: The government places restrictions on the use of private property. As a result, the owner is deprived of economic benefit or value.
    • Example: The government places zoning restrictions on your land, preventing you from developing or using your property as you wish.
  • Exaction: The government requires the property owner to give up a property right or interest to provide the building for public benefit instead.
    • Example: The government requires a developer to build a park or other public facility in the place of your residence.
  • Moratorium: The government imposes a temporary ban or restriction on using or developing private property, known as a moratorium
    • Example: The government temporarily bans building permits in your area, preventing you from developing or using your property.

So, inverse condemnation can occur either by a physical invasion or interference with the property. Additionally, it occurs when a regulation deprives the owner of the property’s value or use. In such situations, seeking legal help to protect your rights is crucial. 

Protecting Your Rights as a Florida Property Owner

Generally, the period for bringing an inverse condemnation lawsuit is four years. However, this timeline is subject to other related factors. Florida statutes 73.091 and 73.092 also allow property owners to recover attorney’s fees and costs when their inverse condemnation claims are successful.

To protect your property from inverse condemnation, you should:

  • Consult with an experienced attorney to determine the strength of your case.
  • Hire legal counsel to represent you and defend your rights.
  • File an inverse condemnation lawsuit with the court.
  • Document additional evidence to support your claim. This can include taking photos and keeping detailed records of communications, evidence of property damage, etc. 
  • Seek just compensation for the damages suffered, including attorney’s fees and costs.

Finally, it is essential to emphasize the importance of legal recourse for inverse condemnation. These claims are very complicated. An attorney can help you gather evidence, develop a trial strategy, and file appropriate documents with the court. Remember, most law firms even offer free consultations where you can consult a real estate attorney at no cost.


Inverse condemnation is a complex legal issue requiring an experienced attorney’s guidance. In Florida, specific considerations must be noted when dealing with inverse condemnation cases, such as the state’s unique approach to these proceedings.

If you believe you are involved in an inverse condemnation dispute, seeking legal aid in your county is crucial to protect your rights and safeguard your investments. 

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