New infrastructure in Sydney is continually being developed to keep up with the demands of a growing population. To build such infrastructure, a public authority – such as the New South Wales government or a local council – may compulsorily acquire some or all of your property to create the space necessary for new construction. Some recent examples include the WestConnex project and the Victoria Cross Metro Station in North Sydney.

Why should I get legal representation?

Compulsory acquisitions can leave property owners feeling frustrated and helpless, and it can be an upsetting and confusing time. However, it is important to know you may have more power than you may think. An experienced solicitor can work with you to ensure you obtain the best compensation for your loss of property. A solicitor’s reasonable legal fees for assisting you in the acquisition process will be covered by the acquiring authority so you will have peace of mind knowing that you will not have to pay for the work performed in receiving advice.

A solicitor can help you through:

1. Finding out what your property is really worth

A solicitor will help you engage experts who can accurately calculate your property’s financial value. The public authority acquiring your land will retain a valuer to estimate what they believe your property is worth, but as this is often skewed towards the acquiring authority, it may not reflect your property’s true worth. It is important that you engage a solicitor who can help you ascertain a value that is more favourable to you.

2. Ensuring you receive the maximum payment

There are a number of costs associated with the compulsory acquisition of your property including conveyancing fees, a real estate agents’ commission (for the purchase of a new property), removalist costs and legal fees (for the acquisition of your property). The purpose of the compensation provided by the acquiring authority is to leave you in the same financial position you would have been in but for the acquisition. A solicitor will ensure that compensation includes the hidden costs of acquisition that are often unrecovered.

3. Negotiating on your behalf 

A solicitor can help you to prepare for negotiations with the acquiring authority. Even though the acquiring authority will send you an initial offer, your solicitor can assist you with your negotiations to ensure that you receive a fair dollar amount for the acquisition of your property. Your solicitor will act on your behalf throughout the discussions and negotiations with the acquiring authority to ensure you achieve the best result.

4. Putting together your claim

Your solicitor can assist you with putting together all aspects of your claim to present to the acquiring authority. They can also ensure that you will present a counter offer which is well-supported and well-documented so that you have the best chance of achieving a fair result.

5. Guiding you through the process

One of the many benefits of engaging a solicitor through this process is that they will support you every step of the way and you can feel assured that you are in capable hands.

Etheringtons Solicitors has acted in numerous compulsory acquisitions cases for our clients, including for properties acquired for the Victoria Cross Metro Station in North Sydney, Martin Place and Pitt Street Metro Stations in Sydney CBD and Waterloo Metro Station in Waterloo. If you have been or think you will be affected by a compulsory acquisition and would like assistance in ensuring you are provided fair compensation, please contact us on 9963 9800 or via our contact page here.