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Compulsory Acquisition of Land

Compulsory Acquisition Lawyers

Compulsory Acquisition of Land

Compulsory acquisition of land occurs when a government authority wants to acquire private land, to build public infrastructure. This often relates to roads, but can also be for buildings, railway lines and even heavy infrastructure like, gas piping. This can occur either in the city, suburbs or rural areas.

The compulsory acquisition typically process is as follows:

  1. Receiving a letter or hearing the news in the media that there is a possibility that a government authority will be acquiring your residential land (usually a home) or commercial land (which will include either your business or a tenant’s business), or that as a tenant of commercial property, the premises from which you operate your business.
  2. If the government authority is only contemplating the acquisition, there may be a public information session, at which the authority will explain the nature of the proposed acquisition and who it is likely to be affected.
  3. If the acquiring government authority is more serious about the acquisition, the next step is to issue a formal Notice of Intention to Acquire (NOITA) property from the affected parties.
  4. Generally, six months after the service of the NOITA, the acquiring authority will formally make the acquisition. From that time on, the property belongs to the acquiring government authority and if you are the landowner, you will have no further rights over the land. If you are a tenant, the acquiring authority will be in contact with you, and advise when you will need to vacate the property.

What is the benefit of engaging a compulsory acquisition lawyer?

Your interest in the land will be valued by the government valuer, the Valuer General. In almost every case, the valuation is lower than what is reasonable and appropriate, simply because there are different perspectives on what the land or interest in the land (which can include a lease) is actually worth, and because that valuer is not likely to consider all the possible heads of damages and possible compensation. The valuer does not act for you.

A first offer from the acquiring authority should never be accepted, and it is really critical that you engage lawyers who are experienced in this space, to maximise your compensation. We are extremely experienced in dealing with authorities and we are also very well-versed in making sure that our clients are properly compensated. Often, there are opportunities for compensation in ways that have not been considered by our clients, before they come to see us. The law offers compensation in various ways and on various levels, therefore it is important that all avenues of compensation are considered, again, so that you can ensure the highest possible compensation is paid to you. The difference in the amount of money from an original offer made by acquiring authority compared to what is ultimately paid is often vastly different. Our expert compulsory acquisition lawyers can “build the case” in support of your compensation claim.

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Call us now on 1300 794 559 to discuss how we can help. Alternatively, complete the enquiry form on this page and we will get back to you promptly.

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