Expropriations (A Homeowners Guide)

Posted on 2 June 2021 Back to News

Email Our Real Estate Lawyers

 

Land expropriation involves the government or other expropriating authority claiming ownership of privately owned property for a public benefit. The Expropriations Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.26 (the “Act”) in force in Ontario defines expropriation as the taking of land without consent of the owner by an expropriating authority in the exercise of its statutory powers.

The expropriation process begins with the service of Notice via registered mail from the expropriating authority informing you that your land will be required for a public purpose. This letter will set out the process, the land required and details of the public purpose. Note: your rights and obligations under the Act are limited by timelines surrounding this Notice.

Land expropriation in Ontario is undertaken for several purposes, including the construction of new roads and highways or the expansion of existing roads and highways, the improvement of local infrastructure as well as other public projects. If your land is subject to expropriation, this can undoubtedly have a disruptive impact on your life, personally as well as financially. Therefore, it is important to immediately consider your options and, if needed, retain experienced legal counsel to advise you of your rights and options.

Compensation 

The Act provides for compensation to be paid to the owner of expropriated land. This compensation is based upon several factors, including the land’s market value, the damages attributable to the disturbance, damages for injurious affection as well as any special difficulties involved in relocating.

The market value of the land is based on the going rates for land per square foot multiplied by the number of square feet the expropriating authority requires from a landowner.

Damages due to disturbance are those that are a “natural and reasonable consequence of the expropriation” such as the relocation of a fence, damage to trees or other property located on the expropriated land. This may also include compensation for business loss if the land being expropriated is land on which a business is operated.

Finally, injurious affection damages are not guaranteed but occur when the expropriating authority expropriates only a portion of the property and the property remaining has decreased in value due to the expropriation. Owners can claim damages for the reduction in the market value of their remaining land due to the expropriation.

If the landowner disagrees with the compensation being offered by the expropriating authority there are options available and it will be paramount to consult experienced legal counsel.

Process

Once a governmental body has identified property that it wishes to acquire for a planned project, the property owner will be approached with an offer to sell the land voluntarily in exchange for an agreed amount of compensation. If the property owner refuses to sell their land, the expropriating authority may be permitted to proceed to force the transfer.

Firstly, a Notice of Application for Approval to Expropriate Land will be served on the property owner. The property owner will then have the option of requesting a Hearing of Necessity disputing if the land/project is truly required for the public purpose stated by the expropriating authority.

After the expropriation has been approved by the governmental approval authority, an Expropriation Plan will be registered in the Land Registry Office and the property will subsequently vest in the governmental body’s ownership. Within 3 months after the registration of this plan and prior to taking possession of the property, the governmental body must serve an appraisal report as well as a settlement offer upon the property owner for their consideration.

Either the governmental body or the owner of the property may apply to the Board of Negotiation for a meeting to facilitate settlement between the parties with respect to the compensation. The Board of Negotiation shall inspect the property. If the negotiation proceedings do not result in a settlement, either party may proceed to serve the other with a Notice of Arbitration have the compensation determined by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal in a binding decision.

Conclusion  

Land expropriation can be a stressful and complicated process. Acting decisively and in a timely fashion is necessary to ensure that your rights are protected.  Our legal team is equipped to navigate the statutory complexities and provide you with the best results.

Contact Us! 

 If you have questions about taxes and how they might impact your real estate transaction, please contact us.

 

 

 

The information in this article is current as of June 2,2021 and is intended for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article is intended to provide legal advice. Readers with concerns about how this affects particular situations or transactions should obtain the independent review and advice of legal counsel.

Go Back

"Expedient, personal, and pleasant to deal with"

"Good service, easy to work with"

"Extremely happy with the service provided"

"Your service was excellent and very efficient"

"Top notch service. No improvement necessary"

"Good service, friendly approach"

"They’re efficient and do a great job"

NEWS AND ARTICLES

See what we have been up to

Non-Resident Speculation Tax (All You Need to Know)

    By: Joshua Clarke & Michael Hanton   This guide explains Ontario’s Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), a tax on certain purchases of residential property by foreign individuals and entities. ......

Read Now

Notice to Clients: 2024 Capital Gains Changes

  The 2024 federal budget has brought unexpected news for taxpayers and tax professionals alike. The budget proposed changes to the capital gains inclusion rate, aimed at enhancing tax fairness ......

Read Now

Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban (A Complete Guide)

  By: Joshua Clarke & Jennifer Parker   Introduction To address the growing concern of housing affordability in Canada, the federal government has extended the Prohibition on the Purchase of ......

Read Now

HGR Graham Partners Sponsors 2024 SheLeads Georgian Bay

  HGR Graham Partners LLP is pleased to be co-sponsoring SheLeads Georgian Bay with Ferguson Deacon Taws LLP as the Venue Sponsor. Join us on Saturday, May 25, 2024 for ......

Read Now

Cohabitation Agreements & Marriage Contracts

  Cohabitation and marriage contracts are agreements between partners that set out the parties’ rights and obligations in the event of their separation. They are forward looking agreements and may ......

Read Now

Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters – ESA Changes (What You Need to Know)

    Recent changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) have altered the landscape for Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters who carry on business in Ontario. Many companies across the ......

Read Now

What is Title Insurance? (What you need to know)

  A title insurance policy is a policy of indemnity that insures against loss or damage arising from title defects or other covered risks which may include survey issues, encroachments, ......

Read Now

Scroll to top