Compulsorily purchased property?
Posted: 28th March 2018
If your property is compulsorily purchased by a public authority, you should always consult a professional so that the compensation due to you is maximised.
The point was proved by one case in which flat owners’ decision to dispense with legal advice resulted in disappointment and a great deal of needless effort and expense.
The 1960s-built flat, one of 169 in a tower block, had been compulsorily acquired by a local authority to make way for a regeneration scheme. Its owners claimed that the flat was worth £400,000.
Taking into account disturbance costs and a basic loss award under the Land Compensation Act 1973, they claimed a total of £487,094 in compensation. At no point did they seek professional advice.
In ruling on the matter, the Upper Tribunal (UT) noted that the owners had initially taken the ill considered and unnecessary course of issuing County Court proceedings, incurring £10,000 in costs before the case was transferred to the correct forum. In what was described as a long and tortuous saga, they had presented no scintilla of evidence to support their valuation of the flat.
In the circumstances, the UT preferred the £275,000 valuation put forward by the council. After disturbance costs and a basic loss award were added to that sum, the owners’ total compensation came to £305,625 – the exact figure the council had offered them prior to the UT proceedings.