Compensation for Expropriation of Land

If you are a property owner or business owner subject to an expropriation, you are entitled to compensation. Under s.13(2)(a) of the Expropriations Act, compensation payable to the owner shall be based upon the market value of land. The market value is based on the highest and best use of the property, which means the highest economic use to which a buyer and seller, willing and knowledgeable would reasonably anticipate the lands would probably be put. Where a rezoning is required to achieve the highest and best use, it is not enough that a rezoning is a “good potential,” it must be reasonably probable.

Section 13(2)(b) considered the right to disturbance damages as an independent claim. Section 19 deals with business losses.

Loss of developers profits is also an issue that has been heard by Courts on several occasions. Where a developer holding a parcel of land intended a development but was expropriated, damages sought have amounted to claims for unrealized developer’s profit. Boards have awarded developers awards for delays in development arising from an expropriation. In Dell Holdings, the claimant was in the business of developing land, and its ability to develop a parcel of land was delayed while the expropriating authority determined what portion of the land was required for a GO train station. Damages attributable to delay were compensable as a disturbance damage as they were a natural and reasonable consequence of the expropriation.

Damages for injurious affection arose out of an appreciation that a partial taking of an owners land could result in a diminution in value to the remainder of lands. Examples where injurious affection damages have been awarded include where; diminished aesthetics and heightened noise level resulting from construction of a highway; hydro transmission line; loss due to change in housing mix; loss of access, loss of access resulting from expropriation for a highway; loss of parking space; loss of trees and landscaping; severance of land due to construction of access road.

The above is a limited summary of some of the damages that a property and/or business owner may be entitled to in the context of expropriation proceedings. Accordingly it is important to retain qualified expropriation counsel to assist in navigating the Expropriations Act. Click here to learn more.