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Compulsory Land Acquisition

Disclaimer

Our website contains general legal advice and should not be acted on without consultation. We recommend that legal advice should be sought before dismissing the prospects of a potential claim for compensation.


 
If you would like more comprehensive advice on compulsory land acquisition, we invite you to visit our specialised website at www.compulsorylandacquisition.com.au
 

Your home may not be your castle. It is generally understood that most public authorities in Victoria have compulsory land acquisition powers (e.g. VicRoads, your local municipality and the water corporation) but most of our clients are surprised to learn that:-

  •  The exercise of compulsory land acquisition powers by an authority for a project may not permit owners to make a claim for compensation even if they are adversely affected by the project and its construction works;
  •  The relevant planning scheme may enable a public authority, without exercising its compulsory land acquisition powers, to constrain the development and use of an owner's property simply because at least part of it is or will be required for a public purpose, the making of a claim and determination of the applicable compensation being governed by the Planning & Environment Act 1987; and
  •  Compulsory land acquisition powers can be exercised whether or not the owner agrees, these compulsory land acquisition powers being contained in the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986, which includes provisions governing the making of a claim and the determination of the applicable compensation.

 As a general proposition, an owner of a property can make a claim for compensation against the relevant authority under the following Acts of Parliament, provided that the specific requirements of the relevant Act are first met:-

  •  In the case of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 , when the value of the property is reduced as a result of either a planning permit refusal or a reservation of at least part of the property for a public purpose in the relevant planning scheme; or
  •  In the case of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986, when her/his/its interest in property is divested or its value reduced as a result of the exercise of the compulsory land acquisition powers, pursuant to which the public authority acquires at least part of the property.

 The right to make a claim may also extend to any person or company with “an interest in land“. Some such interests (the list of which is not exhaustive) are those of a tenant in a lease of property, a mortgagee having lent money for which the property acts as security and a purchaser pursuant to a contract of sale. Each claimant will normally make her/his/its own claim and may require separate legal representation.

 Each claim will have its own complexities caused by the circumstances of ownership, the development and use of the property and the nature and extent of the interests of the various claimants.


 
Independent professional advice from solicitors, valuers and others is necessary for the owner to ensure losses arising from the acquisition are properly assessed and notified to the authority within a reasonable time. The cost of retaining professional advisers can be recovered from the acquiring authority.
 

If you would like more comprehensive advice on compulsory land acquisition, we invite you to visit our specialised website at www.compulsorylandacquisition.com.au.


How can Rennick & Gaynor assist?

We can help you by:- 

  • negotiating the terms on which the authority may enter or occupy your land.
  • monitoring the acquiring authority’s activities to ensure compliance with its obligations.
  • planning your response to the acquiring authority’s longer term intentions.
  • retaining experts to assess your entitlements to compensation, e.g. rent or property valuation, town planning, property restoration and other issues.
  • making your compensation claim. 

If you seek further advice or wish to retain our firm, please see our Enquiry & Instruction Page.