Land Acquisition

We understand that compulsory land acquisitions can be a frustrating experience with many unknown factors in regards to the impact of your use of land. You may be entitled to compensation if the government requires to take your land or restrict your usage rights of your land. Understanding your legal rights and the restrictions of your current and future use of the land is imperative.

We work with an highly experienced team of property valuers, town planners and loss assessors to construct your case and guide you through the myriad of possibilities and risks involved in negotiation of a fair and equitable settlement from the authority.

  • Prepare compensation claims
  • Assist in building your compensation case
  • Advice on statutory compensation scheme
  • Formulate negotiating strategies

Our experienced lawyers have successfully represented landholders and occupiers with their in-depth knowledge of local land conditions and land use, call (03) 5941 1622 to discuss your needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Land Acquisition: Your Land, Your Rights

Whether you are approached by an authority, or whether your land is subject to a planning acquisition overlay, it is important to seek advice early when your land is being or is proposed to be compulsorily acquired.

Typically, an authority will seek to obtain information from a landholder which will allow them to formulate their offer of compensation. However, it is not always clear to the land owner the purpose to which the information being sought will be used or relied on.  As such, it is important that Duffy & Simon assist you from the commencement of the process in identifying clearly the manner in which the land is or is proposed to be used, and ensuring the accuracy of the information that is provided to the authority.

There are a number of factors that must be assessed when determining compensation that flows from a compulsory acquisition. These include:

  1. Losses associated with a change in the market value of the land;
  2. Any special value which is incidental to the ownership or occupation of that land;
  3. Any decrease in market value of any interest in the land attributable to severance of the land, or a portion of that land;
  4. Financial losses suffered as a natural, direct and reasonable consequence of the acquisition;
  5. Costs associated with obtaining legal advice and valuations incurred as a result of the acquisition; and
  6. An award known as “solatium”, being not more that 10% of the market value of the acquired land, representing intangible losses such as loss of a property that has been in the possession of the owner for some time, and loss of the family home.

Duffy & Simon has local knowledge of land conditions and land uses, and together with its team of expert consultant loss assessors are best placed to assist you in understanding the process, and obtaining a truly fair and just result.

Do I have to pay my own costs?

The Authority is required to pay the reasonable costs of obtaining advice from a lawyer about your acquisition, as well as the costs of any valuers, loss assessors and forensic accountants required to determine the loss to your land and to your business. Duffy & Simon will work proactively to ensure your legal and professional costs are paid in full by the acquiring authority.

Do I have to give the authority possession?

The authority is required to negotiate with you the terms upon which it will enter into possession of the land.

Where the acquisition is proposed by way of an easement or by agreement, there is opportunity for a landholder and occupier to raise objections. This process is complicated and requires expert evidence, and must be explored prior to any agreement being entered into in relation to the land.

A formal notice of acquisition is required to be served on an affected landholder, and once served will specify the date for handing possession to the authority. The validity of this notice may be reviewed under certain circumstances.

When will I know that my interest has been acquired?

Generally, a landholder or a tenant of the land that is being acquired will be aware of the
reasons of the proposed acquisition, before the acquisition occurs. However, the acquisition process will formally commence when:
– The authority serves you a notice of intention to acquire; or
– The authority approaches you directly to negotiate the sale of your property.