September 15, 2016

Compulsory Acquisitions – Moving Swiftly to Secure the Future

With a recent upturn in public infrastructure projects throughout the major metropolitan centres of Australia, there has been a surge in government compulsory acquisition of land and buildings, and business interruption compensation claims.

The legislation governing such land and building acquisitions differs from state to state, and as with all legislation – the devil is in the detail.

Essentially, the first port of call for any party that has been notified of the compulsory acquisition of their land, buildings, or trading premises (whether freehold or leasehold) is to seek legal advice so as to fully understand their legal position. Any such legal advice should seek to ensure that the party is adequately compensated and apprised of their legal rights and obligations.

It is vital that any party subject to a compulsory acquisition is advised that they need not accept the first compensation offer. Any compensation should adequately compensate the party for the diminution in value of their asset (whether that be a piece of real property or a business), plus any costs including legal, accounting, relocation, and loss of income, to name a few. It is also critical that action is taken immediately to ensure that any adverse consequences are minimised.

One of the lesser-known side-effects of a large infrastructure project and the compulsory acquisition of properties along its path is that everyone whose land and buildings are acquired must move, and all within a short period of time. As a direct result of the economic tenet of supply and demand, the prices of suitable replacement properties skyrocket as businesses and property owners scramble to secure a suitable property from which to trade in the immediate geographical area, so as to minimise loss of location based goodwill. Timing is therefore of the essence, and instructing the right lawyers and forensic accountants could well mean the difference between a business collapsing or taking a great leap forward.

To speak with a member of our forensic team, get in touch with one of our experts or call 1800 246 801 for more information.

Article written by Brett Goodyer, Director, New South Wales

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