Chapter 10: General Provisions


Section 1: Procedures

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A displacee lawfully present in the U.S. is eligible to receive payment for the reasonable expenses of moving his personalty. A residential displacee unlawfully present in the U.S. (refer to 49CFR, Section 24.208) is eligible to receive payment for the reasonable expenses of moving his personalty if he can demonstrate that denial of relocation assistance benefits will result in an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the person’s spouse, parent, or child (if that spouse, parent, or child is a citizen of the U.S. or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.). A hardship case is not automatic when an eligible dependent is involved.

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Date of Displacement

For determining relocation payment eligibility, the date of displacement is the latter of:

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  • the date the person moves, or is required to move by notice (whichever is earlier);
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  • the date a comparable replacement dwelling is made available.
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Distance of Move

There is no limitation on the distance a displacee moves, in state or out of state. If the displacee chooses to relocate in excess of 50 miles, reimbursement shall be based on the cost of moving, not to exceed 50 miles unless, TxDOT determines that relocation cannot be accomplished within the 50-mile area. In this case, and with prior approval from ROW PD, payment is allowed only to the nearest adequate and available site.

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More Than One Move

A displacee will normally be eligible for payment for only one move. However, when in the public interest, prior approval may be given for payment for more than one move.

For example, TxDOT scheduling may require moving personalty from the displacement site to a temporary site before the replacement site is ready for occupancy. In this case, the ROW Program Office may approve a second move to the permanent replacement site.

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Moves to Multiple Locations

Typically, all displaced personalty is moved from the displacement site to one replacement location. However, it may be necessary to relocate personalty from the displacement site to multiple replacement sites. Prior approval from ROW PD shall be obtained and the multiple replacement sites justified as reasonable and necessary.

Payment for moves to multiple sites must not exceed the cost of moving all personalty to the nearest selected site that will accommodate a majority of the displaced personalty.

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Owner Retention

When a displaced residential owner-occupant retains a realty improvement in the parcel, the cost of moving it onto his remainder or replacement site is not eligible for reimbursement as a moving cost. However, if he chooses to use his dwelling as a means of moving personalty, the cost of moving personalty on a fixed schedule basis is an eligible expense.

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Determine which items are classified as realty to be valued in the appraisal of the property before assigning appraisal work. Make this determination in agreement with TxDOT’s policies on negotiations and with the ROW Appraisal and Review Manual section on “Legal Instructions - Personalty and Realty.” When ROW is acquired by an LPA, try to determine which items are personalty and which are realty at the pre-appraisal stage.

When identifying personal property eligible for moving expense payments, review the list of personal property furnished by the appraiser in relation to the inventory list compiled by the displacee and TxDOT personnel to avoid making relocation payments for items classified as realty.

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Overtime Charges

Base moving expense payments (including cost estimates) on “straight time” labor rates, and not on “overtime” labor rates, unless the displacee can justify the need to move at night, on weekends, or on holidays. When ROW PD determines that the move must be conducted outside of “normal work hours,” moving payments may include a reasonable amount for overtime charges. Justification for overtime charges must be documented in the project files.

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Notification and Inspection

To receive moving payments, the displacee must:

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  • provide TxDOT with advance notice of the estimated move date or the disposal date of displaced personalty;
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  • provide TxDOT with a dated list of items to be moved, including a separate list of items requiring special handling or extra services for removal and reinstallation; and
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  • allow TxDOT to make timely inspections of the displaced personalty at the displacement and replacement sites, and to monitor the move.

ROW PD shall:

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  • monitor moves to ensure agreement with expected costs, directing added attention towards complex or high-cost moves expected to exceed $20,000.00;
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  • perform pre-move and post-move “on-site” inspections to confirm that property listed on the pre-move inventory is physically located at the displacement site, and is moved and reinstalled at the replacement site;
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  • document any sizable differences in the project files and revise the agreed upon payment amount accordingly;
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  • record, in the project files, TxDOT’s pre-move and post-move inventory verifications; and
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  • record, in the project files, the inspection findings, the inspection date, and the inspector’s name.
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Moving Cost

Base moving cost estimates on the moving plan or on previously agreed upon terms and conditions. These estimates, particularly those that TxDOT pays a company or individual to prepare, should include:

As an alternative to formal advertising, bids from qualified contractors may be requested by mail, in-person, or via telephone.

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Ineligible Moving and Related Expenses

A displacee is not entitled to payment for:

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  • costs for moving structures or other real property improvements in which the displacee kept ownership, except as authorized for replacement housing payments;
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  • interest on a loan to cover moving expenses;
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  • loss of business goodwill;
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  • loss of profits;
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  • loss of trained employees;
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  • additional operating expenses of a business, farm, or NPO due to operating in a new location, except as eligible under rules governing reestablishment expenses as described in Reestablishment Expenses -Non-residential;
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  • personal injury;
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  • expenses incurred searching for a replacement dwelling;
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  • physical real property modifications at the replacement site, except for those reasonable and necessary modifications eligible under Allowable Moving Expenses -Non-residential and Reestablishment Expenses -Non-residential;
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  • expenses for providing utilities from the property line to a structure, except as authorized for replacement housing or as eligible under non-residential moving expenses;
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  • costs incurred for complying with OSHA, or any other Federal, State, or local requirement, at the replacement site, that are not specifically related to the reinstallation of displaced personalty and its proper functioning, except as eligible under Reestablishment Expenses -Non-residential;
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  • costs for personalty storage on real property owned or leased by the displacee;
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  • losses incurred due to negligence of the displacee, his agent, or employees;
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  • costs for obtaining copies of tax returns or other records for supporting fixed moving payments;
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  • legal fees or other costs for preparing a relocation payment claim, or for representing the claimant before TxDOT;
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  • moving and related expenses incurred before initiation of ROW negotiations or issuance of a notice of advanced relocation eligibility, whichever occurs first, unless prior ROW Program Office approval is obtained; or
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  • costs of moving to a site in violation of a Federal, State, or local regulation. For example, outdoor advertising signs declared as personal property and junkyards may only be relocated to conforming locations.
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Payment After Death

If a displacee vacates State-acquired property but dies before he is paid for moving costs, pay his moving costs to his beneficiaries or estate.

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