Compulsory Acquisition of Land

Road worksCompulsory Acquisition of Land is the process when a Federal, state or local authority acquires privately owned land (and the interests attached to the land) for a public purpose. For example, property may be acquired to build new public roads, for road widening, sewerage works or public transport infrastructure.

The governmental authority acquiring the land is known as the Acquiring Authority. In Victoria, the Acquiring Authority is often VicRoads, a water authority and the State Government.

Since all interests attached to the land can be acquired, many parties can be affected by Compulsory Acquisition. For example, the owners of the land, tenants, mortgagees, businesses operating from the land and licence holders. A party whose interest in land will be diminished or divested will have a right to claim for compensation.

If you are a party affected by Compulsory Acquisition, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced Compulsory Acquisition lawyer to understand your rights and if you have a potential claim for compensation.

Please visit our main page in this area: PCL Compulsory Acquisition of Land

How do I know if my Property is being Acquired?

If a property you have an interest in is being acquired, you will receive a “Notice of Intention to Acquire” from the Acquiring Authority.

After the serving of the Notice of Intention to Acquire, the Acquiring Authority has six months to acquire the land. If the Acquiring Authority does not acquire the property within six months, the notice lapses.

If you receive a Notice of Intention to Acquire for property you own, you will not be able to enter into a new lease for the property, sell the property or make improvements to the property.

How Will I be Compensated?

The Acquiring Authority is required to pay compensation. The compensation payable to landholders is assessed on factors such as:

  • the market value of the property;
  • the costs and expenses incurred due to the acquisition (e.g. the stamp duty payable from purchasing a replacement property and relocation costs); and
  • the non-financial disadvantages arising from the acquisition (e.g. losses due to search for suitable schooling or employment).

There are however cases where land owners do not agree on the compensation amount. Landholders can challenge an Acquiring Authority’s assessment of compensation.

If you do not agree with the compensation amount, it is wise to seek the assistance of a Compulsory Acquisition lawyer to help you negotiate with the Acquiring Authority or if the matter is referred for resolution to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT) or the Supreme Court.

Who Pays for my Legal Fees?

In most cases, the Acquiring Authority will pay for your legal fees during the acquisition process.

How can PCL Lawyers Help?

The Compulsory Acquisition process and claims for compensation can be complicated and costly, especially if you do not understand your rights and obligations.

At PCL Lawyers, our team of Compulsory Acquisition lawyers have significant experience in providing legal advice and assistance to individuals and businesses.

We can help by:

  • Explaining your rights and legal obligations during the Compulsory Acquisition process in clear and easy to understand terms.
  • Explaining potential options which may increase your compensation.
  • Negotiating with the Acquiring Authority for temporary access to the Land.
  • Negotiating with the Acquiring Authority in relation to compensation.
  • Instructing experts and valuers to assess your entitlements to compensation.
  • Ensuring the Acquiring Authority is compliant during the process.
  • Prepare claims for compensation.
  • Assist if the matter is referred to VCAT or the Supreme Court.

If your property is being acquired by a Governmental Authority, contact us on 1300 907 335 or  fill out the contact form on this page.

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