Have you received a compulsory purchase order? A compulsory purchase order is a document presented to land or property owners informing them that a statutory body such as the government, utility companies or councils of the intention to acquire their property. This order usually applies when the property acquired is in the public’s interest like an expansion of roads, drilling for public water or installation of any other public infrastructure. Although it’s a compulsory order, there are rules and criteria set that the statutory body must have met for the order to be executed.
How does a compulsory purchase order work?
First, it is important to note that the applicant should not force the property owner to sell his/her property. Before a Compulsory Purchase Compensation is prepared, there is a detailed procedure that must be followed. The applicant has no power to acquire the property before informing and agreeing with the landowner. The compulsory purchase order can only be applied in case there is no agreement.
What should you do when you receive a compulsory purchase order?
If you have received a compulsory purchase order, it is evident that there is a statutory body interested in your land. The first step is to keep records of events. The records should also include any expense incurred throughout this process. The next step is to contact a local authority for advice regarding compulsory purchase orders.
How is a compulsory purchase order arrived at?
Before the process commences, the applicant must be convinced that your piece of land is required for the public’s interest. A feasibility study must be carried out to determine to what extent the land is needed. A statutory body may require the entire land or part of the land. The applicant is required to involve you in this first step of the process.
After determining the size of land the applicant wants to acquire, the next step is to calculate your compensation. To determine the compensation, the applicant should consider;
- The value of the piece of land to be acquired
- Any loss or depreciation to be incurred on other attached lands that may be affected by the works carried out on the acquired land
- Any other expense incurred in relation to the land to improve its value
After all these factors have been considered, the next step is to contact the landowner and any other interested party. This is an important step as the acquisition must be made public to give a chance for affected or interested parties to file their claims. If you are a landowner or interested party, you need to seek a legal expert to help you in preparing a compensation claim.
Compulsory acquisition is a complex process. However, it operates on a principle which states that the landowner should not be worse off financially after the acquisition than he/she was before. If you object to their compensation, your legal advisor will help you file an objection. Your concerns will be heard and a decision made. Generally, this is an open process that you should involve professional valuers and lawyers in to help you settle on appropriate compensation.