A Guide to Compulsory Purchase Orders

Compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) are given when a public body has the lawful right to purchase or take over a property that otherwise belongs to a private individual. The public body should be able to prove that taking over the property is for the greater good.

When a property owner is faced with such an order, there are some important questions owners often ask compulsory purchase advisors to ensure that they are exercising their right as well. Here are some of the most common questions asked by property owners regarding a compulsory purchase order.

How can a public body get a CPO on a property?

It is important to note that a public body cannot force a private individual to sell their property. However, a public body can make a compelling case to the government in order for a private individual to sell. Some examples of compelling reasons include building roads, shopping centres, bridges, or when a property is considered a public hazard. The public body should also be able to prove that all options have been considered before the option of buying the property has been put on the table.

How much is the compensation for CPO?

The amount of compensation received from a CPO can vary due to several factors. In general, the public body will be required to pay the market value of the property. If the owner of the property needs to hire a chartered surveyor, the cost will also be included in the entitled compensation. The property owner will also be compensated for the disturbance of having to move to another place of residence, including the recovery of costs allotted for disconnecting and connecting utilities.

Can you object to a CPO?

Yes, the property owner is given the right to object when faced with a CPO. The objection will have to be written and addressed to the appropriate government body. Usually, it is the public entity who has expressed the desire to purchase the property who will provide this information to the owner.

Where can you go for help?

It is recommended to object to a CPO with the help of a professional. Since this is a legal matter, you can hire the services of a solicitor. Aside from this, you can also get the help of a chartered surveyor.

Should you enter into a negotiation?

Certainly, negotiating with the public body wishing to acquire your property is a good option. In a way, you will be able to directly express your demands which the public body may be willing to agree to, as long as the negotiation or objection does not get moved forward to higher channels.

More often than not, having a CPO on your property can be a stressful situation. Nonetheless, these situations are necessary to push forward developments in the community. To make it a stress-free process, a property owner needs to keep track of every step of the process and keep all the documentation. All expenses should also be documented to ensure that at the end of the process, you are able to recover all the losses you have incurred.

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