Compulsory Acquisition of Land

Find out what your rights are - you may be eligible for compensation if affected by compulsory acquisition in Vicitoria

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PCL Property Lawyers Melbourne – Experienced Compulsory Acquisition Lawyers in Victoria

At PCL Property Lawyers Melbourne, we understand the intricacies of compulsory acquisition of land. This process involves the Government taking ownership of land that is privately owned.

Compulsory Acquisition can seem disastrous when you first learn that your property is going to be taken from you. The positive consolation is that you have to be compensated for fair market value.

If you own a business, you might be well set-up in a great location and happily running a great business. There is usually significant and favourable compensation to a business owner, even if you do not own the land but operate from the premises as a tenant.

Compensation and Legal Costs

While the Government may have the right to take ownership of land, there is provision in the law for those who are affected by compulsory acquisition to receive fair and reasonable compensation. The acquiring authority will be responsible for paying or reimbursing most of the legal and associated costs of your claim. PCL Property Lawyers Melbourne can provide expert legal advice and assistance throughout the process, ensuring you receive your proper entitlements. We can quite often get interim compensation paid to you also while the matter is being deliberated on, which can assist you with such things as relocation costs, expert report fees and legal fees.

We generally do not recommend accepting the initial offer from the acquiring authority. It is not the role of the acquiring authority to consider every small (and sometimes large) aspect on your behalf. The value that we, as your lawyers, bring to the table is that we will examine the different angles and the various grounds for further compensation that may not have been considered fully. We will also obtain alternate valuations, if the authority’s valuation is considered not to take into account all of the factors (which happens frequently).

Why Choose Our Land Acquisition Lawyers?

Our lawyers have an excellent track record of success. We take a personal and individual approach to each compulsory acquisition case that we work on. By paying attention to details such as the history and specifics of each individual piece of land, as well as examining the case of the acquiring authority, we can help you achieve an outcome much better than what you could achieve on your own.

We take the approach that is most appropriate and convenient for each type of property – for example, the needs of a residential property owner may be very different to those of a farmer, developer or commercial property owner.

As your lawyers, who have practiced extensively in compulsory acquisition matters, we will:

  • Accurately assess the merits of your case
  • Explain the process along the way in easy to understand terms
  • Represent your interests with vigour and look to secure an offer much better than the original offer by the acquiring authority

Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve – Call Our Dedicated Land Acquisition Lawyers in Melbourne Today

If you’re affected by compulsory acquisition of land, our Melbourne land acquisition lawyers can provide expert legal advice that is tailored to your needs. If you have received a notice from the acquiring authority call us on 1300 907 335, or submit an enquiry using the form on this page and we will contact you promptly.


What is compulsory acquisition?
Can the government take your land?
Can a lease be terminated upon compulsory acquisition of property?
Who pays the legal costs for compulsory acquisition?

What is compulsory acquisition?

Compulsory acquisition is what is referred to when a government authority takes your land. Governments and their authorities have the legal right to acquire private property for public purposes. There is legislation in each state that outlines how they acquire land, but they must pay compensation to the landowner and affected parties such as commercial tenants and business owners for their loss. Lawyers help those affected by compulsory acquisition to ensure that the compensation paid is fair market value. The acquiring authority is also required to pay for the affected parties reasonable legal fees.

Can the government take your land?

National, state and local governments and other authorities have the power to acquire private land for public purposes. The process is called compulsory acquisition. The acquiring authority must provide the landowner and any one else who suffers loss as a result of the acquisition compensation for their loss. This includes businesses, tenants, mortgagees and others who may be occupy or have an interest in land that has been acquired. The acquiring authority must be pay fair market value for compensation and compulsory acquisition lawyers help ensure those affected are compensated correctly for their loss. The acquiring authority is also required to pay your reasonable legal fees.

Can a lease be terminated upon compulsory acquisition of property?

An acquiring authority can terminate a lease, with an effective from the date of the actual date of acquisition (as opposed to the date of the notice of intention to acquire). A commercial tenant will have the right to compensation, and this will depend on such matters the time left to run on the lease and the nature of the business being conducted from the premises. The acquiring authority must compensate you at fair market value for your loss and expenses as a result of the acquisition.

Who pays the legal costs for compulsory acquisition?

We would always strongly advise a person in these circumstances to get legal advice. The legal costs will be paid or reimbursed by the acquiring authority. This is a legal obligation, subject to particular criteria being satisfied. Check with your lawyer as to how this works. The good news is, though, in most cases, you ought not to be out of pocket for your legal expenses.

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