BY DARRYL ROOT, JD, MBA, R/W-RAC
Often times, business owners choose to move personal property
themselves when being displaced by a federally funded
project. After all, the Relocation Assistance and Real Property
Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (URA) and its implementing
regulations allow nonresidential owners and tenants to do so.
There are a multitude of reasons why a self-move may be
chosen by the nonresidential displacee. Some displacees simply
want the benefit paid directly to them rather than giving it to
a commercial mover. Others believe they have equipment or
inventory that is irreplaceable and do not want a commercial
mover handling these items. Sometimes, displacees own
machinery that must be delicately calibrated before and after the
move. These displacees often feel it would be easier to calibrate
the machines after the move if they personally relocate them.
Whatever the motivation, successfully implementing a self-move
under the URA requires several practical considerations. First,
the relevant regulation pertains to personal property only. That
personal property should be included in an inventory submitted
by the displacee and verified by the relocation professional.
This verification process could involve carefully comparing the
inventory against any real property or fixtures and equipment
appraisals provided by the displacing agency. If a discrepancy
exists, the appraiser should be contacted so a resolution is
reached prior to approving any estimates to move the personal
property. The relocation agent should also visit the displacement
site to verify the contents of the inventory. Special attention
should be paid to businesses whose inventory regularly fluctuates
to ensure the inventory is accurate.
Details for nonresidential displacees