If you are an “Owner” of a property (as defined by the Expropriations Act), which includes a property owner, tenant, mortgagee, and other interest holders, you have the right to compensation for your interest in the land should an expropriation ensue.
Under the Expropriations Act, compensation payable to any “Owner” of expropriated land is based on the following: market value of the land; damages attributable to disturbance; damages for injurious affection; and any special difficulties in relocation.
Market value is defined as the price that at which a willing buyer and willing seller would transact in order to purchase the expropriated land. The date that the value of the property is determined for the purposes of the market value determination is usually the date at which the property is expropriated.
The expropriating authority must pay to the Owner of the expropriated land all reasonable amounts that are a “natural and reasonable consequence of the expropriation.” The following types of expenses have been typically found to constitute disturbance damages:
- Moving costs associated with the purchase of an alternate property;
- An allowance to compensate for the inconvenience of finding another property;
- Business losses resulting from the relocation or from a disruption to the business an the expropriated land.
Where the authorities do not require the entire property, they may expropriate only a portion of the owners land. The partial expropriation may result in a reduction in market value to the remaining land. Accordingly, the owner of the property may be entitled to compensation for the diminution in value of the remaining lands.
In some cases, owners are entitled to damages for injurious affection where no land has been taken.
The Expropriations Act requires that the expropriating authority pay other expenses incurred by the owner, including professional fees and legal fees paid. Accordingly, expropriated property owners often have legal fees covered by the expropriating authority, and they will not have to pay out-of-pocket for representation.