Compulsory Acquisition is where a government or authority has the right to take possession of privately owned land. There are different laws surrounding the compulsory acquisition of land for each State and Territory.
The process may begin by you hearing about an intended new road or rail line. Often before Governments decide on major projects there will be consultation process with the community. There may be several versions of maps and plans that are prepared before a final decision is made.
Property owners and interested groups may have the right to make a submission. If your property is going to be acquired by the Government (through the relevant acquiring authority) then you may consider making a submission. This consultation process can cause concern to landowners as it may impact the value and saleability of your property.
For some landowners the first time you hear about the compulsory acquisition of your land is when you are provided with the Notice from the acquiring authority.
It can be stressful and daunting and very uncertain until a decision has been made.
There is however a legal framework whereby the government will compensate those directly affected if they have certain proprietary rights over the land. This compensation from the Government includes the value of the land, business and fees/expenses incurred, such as legal or moving fees.
Firstly, you will have received a notice from the acquiring authority advising you of the acquisition. This will also provide an offer of compensation.
The Government offer will more than likely be a lower offer than the true market value of the land or business. It is up to you to challenge the government and provide evidence of what the true value is.
Getting the right legal advice early can help you avoid a lot of the stress and help you understand the process.
PCL Lawyers can start the dialogue with the Government for you and commence negotiations on your behalf. Our compulsory acquisition lawyers will also engage the right professional valuers and other experts if needed to provide the necessary evidence to support your case.
To assist business and landowners with compulsory acquisitions, we prepare thorough evidence for the Government or Authority to demonstrate the true value and impact on the land/business.
For business compensation cases this involves getting a valuation and thorough analysis of the value of the business and is similar for landowners.
We make sure that the experts and valuers that we engage have a thorough brief and are considering all the relevant facts when making their reports.
When you are disputing the offer given by the government the time frames can be longer than accepting an initial offer. For some the decision to wait to get the premium payout can be offset by the amount of time it takes to get through the Government channels.
The Government must reimburse you your reasonable legal fees. And we assist by ensuring that our fees are clearly itemised and any other expenses are clearly accounted for. This way you should not be paying for legal expenses.
The goal is to represent you to gain a level of compensation which is fair and reasonable – and as quickly as reasonably possible in your given circumstances.