When properties are close together, it can be difficult to repair or make improvements to your own property without accessing a neighbor’s property. Particularly within New York City, you will often be required to place protective structures on your neighbors’ property in order to get a permit. While the best solution to obtain access is to negotiate directly with your neighbors, what if negotiations fail? How can you still gain entry to the other property?
Under the Federal (and most state) constitutions, the government cannot “take” private property for public use without just compensation. Historically, this meant physically seizing or intruding upon all or part of your property and is often referred to as “eminent domain”. But takings are not necessarily physical. They can result from government regulations restricting the use of your property. It can be difficult to determine when the regulations go so far that they constitute a taking and require compensation.