Claim Management and Negotiation
Claims arise from the provisions of two acts: the Land Administration Act and the Planning and Development Act.
Land Administration Act
This is the primary act applied when land must be acquired by the government and is mostly used by Main Roads WA for new road works.
When land is required, a 'Notice of Intention to Take' is first published, followed by a 'Notice to Take' whereby the land needed is taken (resumed).
The owner’s rights to the land are replaced with a 'Claim for Compensation'. The Land Administration Act is considered fair and contains headings under which compensation can be claimed.
WA Land Compensation prepares claims for owners of affected land, as it is essential that all parts of the claim are addressed. Such as making sure that when only part of the land is taken, the loss to the remaining land’s value is also considered.
In determining a claim for compensation it is imperative that the nature of the current and future works is known as an owner can only claim once.
Other possible consequential losses that can be claimed include: the cost of proposed developments that can no longer go ahead (e.g. architectural plans in progress); fees incurred when making the claim (e.g. town planning); and any loss of profits/disruption to businesses whilst works are in progress.
Due to the compulsory nature of a claim, a 10% solatium (compensation to a person for non-financial disadvantage) can also be sought. There is also entitlement to claim interest on total compensation.
If an offer of compensation is inadequate then WA Land Compensation can, as a last resort, instigate a resolution through the State Administrative Tribunal. WA Land Compensation will organise and brief a team to argue the case. This team may include a valuer, lawyer, planner, engineer and/or an environmental consultant.
Planning and Development Act
The Planning and Development Act covers all town planning schemes where private land is reserved for a future public purpose.
Often owners are unaware that their properties are reserved and that they have compensation rights - some properties have been reserved for up to 60 years!
To begin the process, the owner of the reserved land needs to instigate the claim.
There are several ways to claim land compensation. They can be complicated and time consuming, but with WA Land Compensation's help, your full entitlements may be achieved earlier than expected.
Land compensation can be sought by the owner at the date of the reservation. Compensation rights can be applied when the property is for sale or when development is not approved.
When a claim is made, the planning authority can pay compensation for the loss in land value due to the reservation (no land acquired) or acquire the land.
If the acquisition price is inadequate, then WA Land Compensation can initiate a claim in the State Administrative Tribunal.
If compensation is insufficient then the case can be taken to arbitration. An experienced arbitrator is mutually appointed which WA Land Compensation will fully qualify.
WA Land Compensation can act as the negotiator/agent to finalise your claim.
As an agent, we provide all details of the owner’s losses and entitlements to the appointed government valuers before they make their assessments.
WA Land Compensation's goal is to try and ensure the original offer of compensation or acquisition price is acceptable or within a negotiating range. We aim to avoid costly legal intervention and work for a quick and favourable resolution.
In the case of partial takings under the Land Administration Act, WA Land Compensation recommends not to negotiate with the government authority unless full details of the proposed and future works are known. Sometimes it is prudent to wait until the land is taken and a claim is lodged before beginning negotiations.
We can seek an advanced compensation payment for the owner (under the Land Administration Act). Any further compensation claims must be finalised within six years (pursuant to limitation laws).
In regards to the Planning and Development Act, WA Land Compensation doesn't advise owners to negotiate with the planning authority unless there is a legal right to dispute resolution.
Once an offer is made, we liaise with the authority’s acquisition officers to negotiate the compensation.
As part of this process WA Land Compensation will attend the State Administrative Tribunal mediations to resolve the matter.
If the case goes to a hearing at the State Administrative Tribunal or an arbitration, then there will be an exchange of valuations between the owner's and government's land valuers. WA Land Compensation will organise critiques of each valuation and prepare a preliminary 'Statement of Issues, Facts and Contentions' for the benefit of the owner's appointed lawyer.
Occasionally we meet with local Members of Parliament whose intervention might bring about a resolution without going through the legal process.