What is a compulsory purchase order?
A compulsory purchase order (also known as a CPO) allows specific bodies to purchase land or a building already owned by someone. This usually happens if the application is for the greater good of a local area. The application can be made by a local authority, as well as Highways England and other similar agencies.
Buildings of historical significance may also be subject to a CPO. There are a number of reasons that this permission may be sought, including changes to the area’s infrastructure such as new motor or railways. Local authorities may also consider using CPO legislation if a city centre or area requires economical improvements or new facilities. You cannot be forced to sell your property to a private buyer.
I’ve been served a compulsory purchase order – what shall I do?
If you have been notified that you are subject to a compulsory purchase order, don’t panic. It can be unsettling, especially if you do not want to move home, but keep calm and consider your options. Many CPO’s do go ahead, so objecting may add to the inconvenience. You can appeal the decision however. It can in some instances take years for a decision to be made depending on the circumstances, so don’t panic that you’ll need to move in a few days’ time!
In the United Kingdom, your local authority should show that the area they want to use is in the public interest. If you do decide to appeal the decision, the case will go to the High Court to be reviewed. The case should be reviewed by an independent party, who will then consider all sides. Objections need to be made in writing – you should be advised of the relevant contact details at the time of notice. You should consider consulting a professional to help you – surveyors such as Dawson & Associates or a solicitor can help.
You may wish to negotiate with the body wanting to buy from you. Keep a written record of all communications regarding the CPO and be sure to respond to any letters, phone calls or emails promptly. If you incur expenses in relation to the CPO, keep a record of these. You may be able to claim some back, but you’ll need to be able to demonstrate you have kept any costs incurred to a minimum. Reasons you may be able to object include if the process has not been undertaken according to the relevant laws.
Can I get compensation if I’m forced to sell?
The amount you’re entitled to if you are forced to sell under a compulsory purchase order is dependent on circumstances. You are required to be paid the market value for your home at the time of the sale not including any changes to pricing that would be caused by the potential works. You could be entitled to an additional percentage, but the application of this depends on the situation.
You may be able to claim compensation in the event of a compulsory purchase order. Compensation claims can cover the costs of moving and finding a new home. They can also cover other aspects of moving house including costs towards the buying process of your new home and things you may need to leave behind such as carpets. You may also be entitled to costs towards finding a surveyor to assist you during the process. In this instance, it’s always best to consult a professional who can help to guide you through the compensation claims process.
To find out more about how Dawson and Associates can help you with compensation claims please contact our experts.