Expropriation Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I afford an expropriation lawyer or other professionals such as an appraiser?

The Expropriations Act is a broad and remedial statute aimed at providing a landowner fair and just compensation when land has been taken or injuriously affected by an expropriating authority.  A key part of the Expropriations Act provides for the recovery of legal and other professional fees from the expropriating authority.   The Expropriations Act directs that the expropriating authority pay the claimant’s reasonable legal, appraisal and other costs actually incurred, provided that the total compensation finally determined is at least 85% of the statutory offer (known as a Section 25 Offer) made by the expropriating authority.   Please see our more detailed section on legal and other professional expenses in order to get a better understanding about the cost recovery provisions under the Expropriations Act.

2. How long will it take for the expropriating authority to take possession of my property?

The Expropriations Act dictates the process and timeframe in order for the expropriating authority to gain possession of your property. For a rough estimate of the timeline involved in your situation, please refer to our expropriation planner. One of our expropriation lawyers can assist you to better understand the process and timeframe as may be applicable in your particular circumstances.

3. I have a business on the property. How is the expropriating authority going to compensate me for moving or interrupting my business?

The Expropriations Act provides for the recovery of business expenses and losses caused by the relocation or interruption of your business. An expropriation lawyer can provide you with specific advice as it pertains to the circumstances of your business.

4. I understand the need for my property to be acquired. Can I negotiate an agreement with the expropriating authority in order to avoid litigating against the expropriating authority?

Yes. The Expropriations Act provides for the opportunity for you to make an agreement (known as a Section 30 Agreement) with the expropriating authority that protects all of your rights to compensation while providing the expropriating authority the opportunity to gain possession of your land without undergoing all of the formal procedures outlined in the Expropriations Act.

5. Can I stop the proposed expropriation of my property?

You are able to request a Hearing of Necessity (also known as an Inquiry) at which the expropriating authority must demonstrate that its proposed taking of your property is fair, sound and reasonably necessary. A Hearing of Necessity is a quasi-judicial proceeding in which you will be able to call evidence in opposition to the proposed taking. At the conclusion of a Hearing of Necessity, the presiding Inquiry Officer will write a report with a recommendation to the Expropriating Authority. However, it is extremely unlikely you will stop the proposed expropriation because the Expropriating Authority only has to consider the Inquiry Officer’s report and does not have to follow any recommendations made.

6. Does the Expropriating Authority pay interest if we cannot resolve my claim early in the process?

The Expropriating Authority usually is compelled to pay 6% interest from the date your lands cease to be productive to you. In rare circumstances, interest as high as 12% could be awarded if the Expropriating Authority is shown to have caused delay in the determination of compensation or no interest could be payable if you are shown to be the cause of delay in the determination of compensation.

7. Why should I hire an expropriation lawyer?

An expropriation lawyer will assist you with understanding all of your rights to compensation under the Expropriations Act and can help you negotiate or litigate fair and just compensation.