The announcement by Sydney Metro of the location of the City Sydney Metro West station and the Sydney Metro Pyrmont station has come after an 18 month wait. Compulsory acquisition of land is a power that Transport have when land is required for a public purpose – in this instance, for a Metro station.
Commonly we are asked to advise if we can do anything to stop the acquisition of the land, and unfortunately, usually the answer is “No”. However, the law allows for compensation on “Just Terms”. What compensation is paid depends on the property in question. For the owner of the property, the fair market value is applied, having regard to the properties highest and best use. Legal fees and valuation fees are also covered so that the owner is not out of pocket for the costs of being forced to sell to Metro. For tenants, their lease may in itself, have a value, where the tenant is paying rent that is less than what the market would pay. The lease also is the legal document that gives the tenant a right to compensation. Even if the tenant does not have a lease that has a value as they are paying market rent, the lease gives them a right to what is called “disturbance”. This can cover a new fit out, removalist costs, legal and valuation fees, and other losses such as loss of profit.
The law is complex in this area and specialist legal advice is recommended from an experienced compulsory acquisition lawyer. We have just acted for 50 owners on the same project at the other Sydney Metro West stations and we are already acting for many on this new project. Get in touch if you are impacted.
If you have a question get in touch with our team.