Expropriation

As a landowner in Ontario, having your property expropriated can be quite stressful and complicated. Our firm is ready to assist from the moment you find out that your property might be expropriated, and provide our clients with the strategic guidance they need to navigate the expropriation process. We provide completely free consultation to prospective clients to help ensure they are well informed about their rights as landowners and the options available to them.

The lawyers at Bisceglia & Associates possess a comprehensive expertise in assisting landowners in matters relating to the expropriation of lands by expropriating authorities. Our extensive experience in the areas of construction, municipal, and development law allow us to provide complete access to experts and a full range of services to our clients in any expropriation matter.

WHAT IS “EXPROPRIATION”?

Expropriation describes the process where a landowner is forced to lose ownership of their property to an “expropriating authority,” for government use or where the government authorizes it. A landowner must be compensated for any property that is taken, but disputes can arise about the value of that property and the amount of compensation that the owner is entitled to.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

- Our team is ready to help at any stage in the process.

As a landowner, you can expect to initially be contacted by an “expropriating authority,” in order to try to negotiate some settlement that is agreeable to the owner, where the owner voluntarily gives up their property in exchange for compensation. If a settlement is not reached, the formal expropriation process begins.

The next step is for the Authority to formally serve the owner with a “Notice of Intention for Approval to Expropriate,” and also publish the Notice in the local newspaper for 3 weeks. Once you are served, or the publication is made, you will have up to 30 days to request an inquiry as to whether the intended expropriation should happen. A hearing will follow and a decision will be made about whether or not the expropriation should proceed.

If the decision is made to proceed with an expropriation, an “Expropriation Plan” will be registered on title to the subject property. At this point the Authority will also serve the owner with official Notices of Expropriation, Possession, and Election stating that the expropriation has taken place, showing the date the property is required by, and, providing the owner an opportunity to select a date for the expropriation that the compensation will be based on.

Finally, the Authority will send an appraiser to the property to establish its value and produce an appraisal report. The Authority will then prepare an offer for compensation. As an owner you may accept the offer or choose to pursue additional compensation through negotiation, arbitration at the Ontario Municipal Board, or both.

WHO IS AFFECTED BY EXPROPRIATION?

The term landowner, or “owner,” includes registered property owners, tenants, trustees, guardians, executors, mortgagees, or any person otherwise entitled to an interest in the property. Check with us to see if you might be entitled to compensation from an expropriation.

COMPENSATION

If your property or lands are subject to an expropriation, you are entitled to compensation. In Ontario, the Expropriations Act, provides 4 bases of compensation that are used to determine how much compensation should be provided. These categories are:

1. The Fair Market Value of the property being expropriated

This is the price the property could be sold for on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer. If for some reason there would be no demand for such a property, the fair market value is determined by establishing the cost of relocating to similar premises. If only part of an owner’s property is subject to expropriation, the fair market value is determined by establishing the fair market value for the entire property, and deducting the estimated value of the property after the expropriation has taken place.

2. Damages attributable to any disturbances resulting from the expropriation

These damages are calculated by considering the inconvenience and costs of finding and / or moving to a new location; any improvements made to the expropriated property that are not reflected in the market value; costs related to tenant and / or security holder disturbances and relocation; and, if the property is a business, business losses and goodwill.

3. Damages for “injurious affection”

Owners are also entitled to compensation for consequential damages, or damages caused as a result of expropriation but not directly attributable to the value of the property being expropriated. Even if it is not owner’s property being expropriated, if they are negatively impacted by the expropriation they are able to recover the costs, or loss of value, incurred as a result of an expropriation. Some examples of injurious affection are circumstances where an owner suffers a loss of access to their driveway or entrance, loss of access to public utilities, business losses, noise issues, safety or traffic impairments, etc.

4. Special damages related to relocation

This category allows for extra consideration of special circumstances that may give rise to additional costs if an owner is forced to relocate, or find some other property to replace that which is being expropriated.

- As the owner of property that is subject to expropriation, you may be entitled to compensation under any, or all, of the above categories.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU

  • EVALUATION
  • INFORMATION
  • NEGOTIATION
  • STRATEGY
  • REPRESENTATION