Expropriation lawyers serving Mississauga, Hamilton and Oakville
As the government implements various infrastructure projects across Ontario,
there is a growing need by the authorities to purchase a private property from land owners and business owners in order to accommodate public construction work. The government has the authority to take land without the consent of the owner using the powers set out in the Expropriations Act in Ontario. When a government purchases a property from a private owner without their consent, this is referred to as an expropriation.
Projects such as small as road widening, new bike lanes, or larger projects such as new transit construction often require the authorities to expropriate private property and may have a long-term impact on the future use and value of the remaining lands.
At Goldstein Law, we navigate property owners, tenants, and businesses through the expropriation process. Whether you wish to challenge the decision to expropriate your land through a hearing with an inquiry officer or obtain more compensation from the authorities, we will assist you with the expropriation legal process.
A property owner that is subject to an expropriation should be made “whole” by the government. As such, an expropriated party is entitled to the market value of the lands, interest thereon, injurious affection damages, and any business or disturbance damages that are a natural or reasonable consequence of the expropriation. In addition, the Act provides for the government to reimburse all reasonable professional and appraisal fees incurred by the expropriated party.
What is Injurious Affection?
If, on the other hand, the authorities do not take your land, but their public works substantially interfere with your use and enjoyment of your property, you may be entitled to compensation through an injurious affection claim under the Expropriations Act in Ontario.
Injurious affection claims are premised on the law of nuisance in Ontario. In determining whether there has been a nuisance, the Court must assess whether there has been a substantial and unreasonable interference with your property. The following factors are assessed:
- The severity of interference;
- The character of the neighbourhood;
- The utility of the defendant’s conduct;
- The sensitivity of the plaintiff; and
- The duration of the interference.
If you are a business or property owner in Ontario and are directly impacted by a public work, ask yourself: In light of all the circumstances, is the interference more than you can reasonably expect to bear without compensation in the circumstances?
To obtain more information about your rights in an expropriation, contact us today for a free consultation. Note that the government is required to reimburse reasonable legal and professional fees in the expropriation process; as such, you should not be out-of-pocket when you retain legal counsel for these matters.