Office of Right of Way

Statement of Property Owner's Rights

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1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 3, mandates that an acquiring agency provide a statement of rights to owners of record who may have all or a part of their property acquired by condemnation. It also directs the attorney general to adopt rules prescribing a statement of rights which an acquiring agency may use to meet its obligation. Pursuant to that directive, the following statement of property owner's rights is adopted.


Just as the law grants certain entities the right to acquire private property, you as the owner of the property have certain rights. You have the right to:

1. Receive just compensation for the taking of property. (Iowa Constitution, Article I, § 18)

2. An offer to purchase which may not be less than the lowest appraisal of the fair market value of the property. (Iowa Code § 6B.45 as amended by 1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 18; Iowa Code § 6B.54 as amended by 1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 20)

3. Receive a copy of the appraisal, if an appraisal is required, upon which the acquiring agency's determination of just compensation is based not less than 10 days before being contacted by the acquiring agency's acquisition agent. (Iowa Code § 6B.45 as amended by 1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 18)

4. An opportunity to accompany at least one appraiser of the acquiring agency who appraises your property when an appraisal is required. (Iowa Code § 6B.54)

5. Participate in good-faith negotiations with the acquiring agency before the acquiring agency begins condemnation proceedings. (1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 3)

6. A determination of just compensation by an impartial compensation commission and the right to appeal its award to the district court if you cannot agree on a purchase price with the acquiring agency. (Iowa Code § 6B.4; Iowa Code § 6B.7 as amended by 1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 8; Iowa Code § 6B.18)

7. A review by the compensation commission of the necessity for the condemnation if your property is agricultural land being condemned for industry. (1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 7)

8. Payment of the agreed upon purchase price or, if condemned, a deposit of the compensation commission award before you are required to surrender possession of the property. (Iowa Code § 6B.25; Iowa Code § 6B.26; Iowa Code § 6B.54(11))

9. Reimbursement for expenses incidental to transferring title to the acquiring agency. (Iowa Code § 6B.33 as amended by 1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 15; Iowa Code § 6B.54(10))

10. Reimbursement of certain litigation expenses: (a) if the award of the compensation commissioners exceeds 110 percent of the acquiring agency's final offer before condemnation; and (b) if the award on appeal in court is more than the compensation commissioners' award. (Iowa Code § 6B.33)

11. At least 90 days' written notice to vacate occupied property. (Iowa Code § 6B.54(4))

12. Relocation services and payments, if you are eligible to receive them, and the right to appeal your eligibility for and amount of the payments. (Iowa Code § 316.9; Iowa Code § 6B.42 as amended by 1999 Iowa Acts, House File 476, § 17

The rights set out in this statement are not claimed to be a full and complete list or explanation of an owner's rights under the law. They are derived from Iowa Code chapters 6A, 6B and 316. For a more thorough presentation of an owner's rights, you should refer directly to the Iowa Code or contact an attorney of your choice.