It is your right to be compensated when a government agency takes some or all of your privately-owned land because of public safety concerns or the construction of roads, schools, and other public work. With the guidance of compensation lawyers and other experts, you can assess whether the offer of compensation given by the acquiring body is just, and can accept or reject the offer.
Should you decide to reject the offer, here is what you should know.
Make an Informed Decision
Compensation lawyers will advise you to get an independent land valuation soon after being served with a Notice to Take an Interest in the Land (NOITT.) Such valuations will consider not only the existing use of your land but also its highest and best use.
Included in the offer that the acquiring authority will give you will be a certificate of valuation. Your compensation lawyers can assist you with comparing this valuation certificate and the one from your independent valuer. By so doing, you will be able to make a more informed decision about rejecting the offer.
Stick to Set Time Limits
You will have some time from when the acquiring authority gives you the offer to reject it formally. It's crucial that you complete the valuation and any other related homework during this time. Your compensation lawyers should communicate your rejection of the offer within this window—the earlier, the better. If you fail to reject the offer within the specified period after it is issued, the offer will be deemed acceptable. The acquiring authority will be empowered to go ahead with processing your compensation.
As long as the acquiring authority is open to it, there is always room for negotiation after rejecting the compensation offer. Your compensation lawyers can represent you accordingly, and provide the evidence and relevant paperwork to support your stand.
On the other hand, if you cannot come to an agreement with the acquiring authority, you will need to refer the matter to the proper authorities. These are the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) or the Land Claims court in your region. Your compensation lawyers will guide you on the applicable time limits for presenting your matter for determination.
You have every right to make the informed decision to reject a compensation offer. Work with a compensation lawyer so you can know what steps to take to get that just compensation for your acquired land.