Expropriation Rights – What You Deserve as a Property Owner
If a property is subject to expropriation, it can affect a number of stakeholders in the property, including the property owner, any tenants and mortgagees. Every stakeholder has certain rights during the expropriation, as outlined in the Ontario Government’s Expropriation Act.
1. Legal Representation
The primary and basic right of any stakeholder in an expropriation is to retain legal representation. The expropriation process can be long, complex and contentious and professional legal representation is the best way for any stakeholder to protect their rights, entitlements and financial interests.
2. Request a Hearing of Necessity
If an owner opposes, in whole or in part, the expropriation of the owner’s property, the owner can request a Hearing of Necessity. Upon receipt of the request for a Hearing, a place and date for the Hearing will be determined and the expropriating Authority, the owner(s) and the owners’ representatives will be notified of the time and date of the Hearing. The Hearing will review whether the expropriation of the property is “fair, sound and reasonably necessary”.
A Hearing Report is produced from the Hearing and taken into consideration by the expropriation approving authority. Whether the report recommends for or against the expropriation, the approving authority may proceed with the expropriation, decide not to proceed with the expropriation or may approve the expropriation with modifications.
3. Entitlement to Compensation
The Expropriation Act entitles owners of expropriated property to compensation based on four factors.
a. Market Value of the Property
An assessment of the market value of the property is made as of the “valuation date” which is usually the day on which the property is expropriated.
b. Damages Attributable to Disturbances
Theses damage take into account the inconvenience and cost of finding and/or moving to another location; improvements to the property that are not accounted for in the market valuation; disturbances and relocation costs incurred by tenants and/or security holders; and business losses.
c. Damages for Injurious Affection
These are damages suffered by the property owner due to the expropriation, but are not directly attributable to the value of the property. The damages can include items like the loss of access to a driveway or business losses.
d. Special Damages Related to Relocation
If special circumstances mean an owner incurs additional costs due to a relocation, including difficulty in finding a suitable property to replace the one being expropriated, the owner may receive compensation under this compensation category.
It’s important to know your full rights and to protect your interests and investments. For legal advice about every aspect of expropriation, contact us here at Bisceglia & Associates to schedule a consultation.