What are Damages Attributable to Disturbances in an Ontario Expropriation?

If you are the landowner, tenant or mortgagee of a property that is expropriated in Ontario, you may have the right to claim one or more of four different types of compensation in exchange for the expropriated land.

1.Market Value for the Property

Defined by the Expropriations Act (the Act) as “the amount that the land might be expected to realize if sold in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer”

2.Damages Attributable to Disturbances

Defined by the Act as ““such reasonable costs as are the natural and reasonable consequences of the expropriation.”

 Ontario expropriation damages

3.Damages for Injurious Affection

Awarded in cases where only a portion of a property is expropriated, injurious affection damages include damages to the remaining property that result from the expropriation.

4.Special Damages Related to Relocation

May be awarded to landowners who encounter special difficulties in relocating to another property after expropriation.

While the compensation for fair market value is often one of the most contentious of the different compensations, it is one of the easiest to define, even if there are differing opinions on the value in question.

The other compensation damages to which owners may be entitled are not always as easy to outline.

Damages Attributable to Disturbances

The intent of awarding landowners compensation attributable to disturbances is to make sure that owners do not suffer costs, expenses and damages due to the expropriation. In other words, the Act outlines that, in exchange for giving up their lawful ownership of land, owners are not only entitled to fair market value of the land, but also to being reimbursed for any costs the expropriation incurs, as long as reasonable steps are taken to mitigate the damages and costs.

Section 18 of the Act stipulates an owner is to be paid the following costs and damages.

Such reasonable costs as are the natural and reasonable consequences of the expropriation, including:

  • Where the expropriation includes the owner’s residence an allowance of 5% of the market value to compensate for the inconvenience and cost of finding another residence, and an allowance for the value of improvements which are not included in the market value of the land

  • Where the premises taken do not include the owner’s residence,
    expenses due to finding premises to replace those expropriated, provided that the lands were not offered for sale on the date of expropriation

  • Where a business is located on the land, compensation for business loss resulting from the relocation of the business made necessary by the expropriation

  • Reasonable relocation costs, including moving costs, and the legal, survey, real estate fees and other costs incurred in acquiring other premises

Still, despite what seem like fairly clear delineations of the damages attributable to disturbances to which owners may be entitled, there are provisions of the Act that may include unforeseen damages, or those that have no precedent of being awarded previously, in the compensation received by an owner.

In the case of compensation for business losses when the business is located on the land being expropriated, the Act states that “unless the owner and the expropriating authority otherwise agree, the business losses shall not be determined until the business has moved and been in operation for six months or until a three-year period has elapsed, whichever occurs first.”

In other words, the exact costs incurred by a business affected by an expropriation may not be fully stated, or even known, for three years following the expropriation.

To learn more about your rights in an expropriation, including the compensation you can expect for damages attributable to disturbances, contact us here at Bisceglia & Associates to schedule a no-charge consultation.