[USC02] 42 USC CHAPTER 61, SUBCHAPTER III: UNIFORM REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICY
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42 USC CHAPTER 61, SUBCHAPTER III: UNIFORM REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICY
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 61—UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICIES FOR FEDERAL AND FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER III—UNIFORM REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICY

§4651. Uniform policy on real property acquisition practices

In order to encourage and expedite the acquisition of real property by agreements with owners, to avoid litigation and relieve congestion in the courts, to assure consistent treatment for owners in the many Federal programs, and to promote public confidence in Federal land acquisition practices, heads of Federal agencies shall, to the greatest extent practicable, be guided by the following policies:

(1) The head of a Federal agency shall make every reasonable effort to acquire expeditiously real property by negotiation.

(2) Real property shall be appraised before the initiation of negotiations, and the owner or his designated representative shall be given an opportunity to accompany the appraiser during his inspection of the property, except that the head of the lead agency may 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 real property, the head of the Federal agency concerned shall establish an amount which he believes to be just compensation therefor 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 agency's approved appraisal of the fair market value of such property. Any decrease or increase in the fair market value of real property prior to the date of valuation caused by the public improvement for which such property is acquired, or by the likelihood that the property would be acquired for such improvement, other than that due to physical deterioration within the reasonable control of the owner, will be disregarded in determining the compensation for the property. The head of the Federal agency concerned shall provide the owner of real property to be acquired with a written statement of, and summary of the basis for, the amount he 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.

(4) No owner shall be required to surrender possession of real property before the head of the Federal agency concerned pays the agreed purchase price, or deposits with the court in accordance with section 3114(a) to (d) of title 40, for the benefit of the owner, an amount not less than the agency's approved 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 public improvement shall be so scheduled that, to the greatest extent practicable, no person lawfully occupying real property shall be required to move from a dwelling (assuming a replacement dwelling as required by subchapter II will be available), or to move his business or farm operation, without at least ninety days' written notice from the head of the Federal agency concerned, of the date by which such move is required.

(6) If the head of a Federal agency 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 Government 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 head of a Federal agency either advance the time of condemnation, or defer negotiations or condemnation and the deposit of funds in court for the use of the owner, or take any other action coercive in nature, in order to compel an agreement on the price to be paid for the property.

(8) If any interest in real property is to be acquired by exercise of the power of eminent domain, the head of the Federal agency concerned shall institute formal condemnation proceedings. No Federal agency head shall intentionally make it necessary for an owner to institute legal proceedings to prove the fact of the taking of his real property.

(9) If the acquisition of only a portion of a property would leave the owner with an uneconomic remnant, the head of the Federal agency concerned shall offer to acquire that remnant. For the purposes of this chapter, an uneconomic remnant is a parcel of real property in which the owner is left with an interest after the partial acquisition of the owner's property and which the head of the Federal agency concerned has determined has little or no value or utility to the owner.

(10) A person whose real property is being acquired in accordance with this subchapter may, after the person has been fully informed of his right to receive just compensation for such property, donate such property, and part thereof, any interest therein, or any compensation paid therefor to a Federal agency, as such person shall determine.

(Pub. L. 91–646, title III, §301, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1904; Pub. L. 100–17, title IV, §416, Apr. 2, 1987, 101 Stat. 255.)

References in Text

Subchapter II, referred to in par. (5), was in the original "title II", meaning title II of Pub. L. 91–646, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1895, which is classified principally to subchapter II of this chapter. For complete classification of title II to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4601 of this title and Tables.

This chapter, referred to in par. (9), was in the original "this Act", meaning Pub. L. 91–646, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1894, known as the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4601 of this title and Tables.

This subchapter, referred to in par. (10), was in the original "this title", meaning title III of Pub. L. 91–646, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1904, which is classified principally to this subchapter. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Tables.

Codification

In par. (4), "section 3114(a) to (d) of title 40" substituted for "section 1 of the Act of February 26, 1931 (46 Stat. 1421; 40 U.S.C. 258a)" on authority of Pub. L. 107–217, §5(c), Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1303, the first section of which enacted Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works.

Amendments

1987—Par. (2). Pub. L. 100–17, §416(a), inserted provision respecting the waiver of appraisal in cases involving the acquisition of property with a low fair market value.

Par. (9). Pub. L. 100–17, §416(b), amended par. (9) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (9) read as follows: "If the acquisition of only part of a property would leave its owner with an uneconomic remnant, the head of the Federal agency concerned shall offer to acquire the entire property."

Par. (10). Pub. L. 100–17, §416(c), added par. (10).

Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–17 effective on effective date provided in regulations promulgated under section 4633 of this title (as amended by section 412 of Pub. L. 100–17), but not later than 2 years after Apr. 2, 1987, see section 418 of Pub. L. 100–17, set out as a note under section 4601 of this title.

Savings Provision

Pub. L. 91–646, title III, §306, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1907, provided in part that: "Any rights or liabilities now existing under prior Acts or portions thereof shall not be affected by the repeal of such prior Act or portions thereof under this section [repealing sections 3071 to 3073 of this title, section 141 of Title 23, Highways, and section 596 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters]."

§4652. Buildings, structures, and improvements

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the head of a Federal agency acquires any interest in real property in any State, he shall acquire at least an equal interest in all buildings, structures, or other improvements located upon the real property so acquired and which he requires to be removed from such real property or which he determines will be adversely affected by the use to which such real property will be put.

(b)(1) For the purpose of determining the just compensation to be paid for any building, structure, or other improvement required to be acquired by subsection (a) of this section, such building, structure, or other improvement shall be deemed to be a part of the real property to be acquired notwithstanding the right or obligation of a tenant, as against the owner of any other interest in the real property, to remove such building, structure, or improvement at the expiration of his term, and the fair market value which such building, structure, or improvement contributes to the fair market value of the real property to be acquired, or the fair market value of such building, structure, or improvement for removal from the real property, whichever is the greater, shall be paid to the tenant therefor.

(2) Payment under this subsection shall not result in duplication of any payments otherwise authorized by law. No such payment shall be made unless the owner of the land involved disclaims all interest in the improvements of the tenant. In consideration for any such payment, the tenant shall assign, transfer, and release to the United States all his right, title, and interest in and to such improvements. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to deprive the tenant of any rights to reject payment under this subsection and to obtain payment for such property interests in accordance with applicable law, other than this subsection.

(Pub. L. 91–646, title III, §302, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1905.)

§4653. Expenses incidental to transfer of title to United States

The head of a Federal agency, as soon as practicable after the date of payment of the purchase price or the date of deposit in court of funds to satisfy the award of compensation in a condemnation proceeding to acquire real property, whichever is the earlier, shall reimburse the owner, to the extent the head of such agency deems fair and reasonable, for expenses he necessarily incurred for—

(1) recording fees, transfer taxes, and similar expenses incidental to conveying such real property to the United States;

(2) penalty costs for prepayment of any preexisting recorded mortgage entered into in good faith encumbering such real property; and

(3) the pro rata portion of real property taxes paid which are allocable to a period subsequent to the date of vesting title in the United States, or the effective date of possession of such real property by the United States, whichever is the earlier.

(Pub. L. 91–646, title III, §303, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1906.)

§4654. Litigation expenses

(a) Judgment for owner or abandonment of proceedings

The Federal court having jurisdiction of a proceeding instituted by a Federal agency to acquire real property by condemnation shall award the owner of any right, or title to, or interest in, such real property such sum as will in the opinion of the court reimburse such owner for his reasonable costs, disbursements, and expenses, including reasonable attorney, appraisal, and engineering fees, actually incurred because of the condemnation proceedings, if—

(1) the final judgment is that the Federal agency cannot acquire the real property by condemnation; or

(2) the proceeding is abandoned by the United States.

(b) Payment

Any award made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be paid by the head of the Federal agency for whose benefit the condemnation proceedings was instituted.

(c) Claims against United States

The court rendering a judgment for the plaintiff in a proceeding brought under section 1346(a)(2) or 1491 of title 28, awarding compensation for the taking of property by a Federal agency, or the Attorney General effecting a settlement of any such proceeding, shall determine and award or allow to such plaintiff, as a part of such judgment or settlement, such sum as will in the opinion of the court or the Attorney General reimburse such plaintiff for his reasonable costs, disbursements, and expenses, including reasonable attorney, appraisal, and engineering fees, actually incurred because of such proceeding.

(Pub. L. 91–646, title III, §304, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1906.)

§4655. Requirements for uniform land acquisition policies; payments of expenses incidental to transfer of real property to State; payment of litigation expenses in certain cases

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the head of a Federal agency shall not approve any program or project or any grant to, or contract or agreement with, an acquiring agency under which Federal financial assistance will be available to pay all or part of the cost of any program or project which will result in the acquisition of real property on and after January 2, 1971, unless he receives satisfactory assurances from such acquiring agency that—

(1) in acquiring real property it will be guided, to the greatest extent practicable under State law, by the land acquisition policies in section 4651 of this title and the provisions of section 4652 of this title, and

(2) property owners will be paid or reimbursed for necessary expenses as specified in sections 4653 and 4654 of this title.


(b) For purposes of this section, the term "acquiring agency" means—

(1) a State agency (as defined in section 4601(3) of this title) which has the authority to acquire property by eminent domain under State law, and

(2) a State agency or person which does not have such authority, to the extent provided by the head of the lead agency by regulation.

(Pub. L. 91–646, title III, §305, Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1906; Pub. L. 100–17, title IV, §417, Apr. 2, 1987, 101 Stat. 256.)

Amendments

1987Pub. L. 100–17 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted "an acquiring agency" for "a State agency" and "such acquiring agency" for "such State agency", and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–17 effective on effective date provided in regulations promulgated under section 4633 of this title (as amended by section 412 of Pub. L. 100–17), but not later than 2 years after Apr. 2, 1987, see section 418 of Pub. L. 100–17, set out as a note under section 4601 of this title.