There are numerous Acts of Parliament under which Government departments, local/public authorities or statutory undertakings (gas, water, electricity etc) may carry out schemes for the general benefit of the community and which involve the purchase of land or interference with owners’ proprietary rights.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR PROPERTY IS AFFECTED?
You will be served with a ‘Notice to treat’. This will include how much of your property is required and indicate that the acquiring authority are willing to enter negotiations as to price and any compensation to which you may be entitled.
THE MOST COMMON SITUATIONS
- The acquiring authority require your entire property. This is probably the most straightforward and will entitle you to the full market value plus removal costs, Solicitors/Surveyors fees etc.
- The acquiring authority only want part of your property, for example, a strip off the end of your garden to widen a road. This will entitle you to:
- * the market value of the land to be purchased,
- * compensation for any depreciation in value of the remaining property,
- * works to reinstate your property after the scheme is finished, i.e. a new boundary wall or fence or resurfacing part of your drive. These are called ‘accommodation works’.
- None of your property is required to be purchased but the carrying out of the scheme may depreciate the value of your property i.e. interference with a right of light. This is difficult to quantify and needs expert advice. Note also that, in cases like this, you will NOT be served with a ‘Notice to treat’, so it is up to you to make a claim.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
The correct identification of EVERYTHING you are entitled to and the proper assessment of the full amount of your claim are complex matters and require specialist knowledge to make sure you don’t miss anything. So, if you are served with a ‘Notice to treat’, or you think a scheme will affect your property, it is essential to find an expert as soon as possible.