Everything You Need To Know About Compulsory Purchase Orders

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If your home is the subject of a Compulsory Purchase Order (sometimes called a CPO), it’s possible that you may have to sell. You may be able to get better terms for compulsory purchase orders, though, through negotiations. This guide can help you learn the answer to “What is a CPO,” “Who pays legal fees in a forced house sale,” and what you can do about compulsory purchase orders on your home.

What Is A Compulsory Purchase Order?

If you’ve received one of these documents, you may be wondering about the meaning of CPO. Public bodies, like local councils, use the term CPO, meaning Compulsory Purchase Order. The true meaning of CPO, though, is that a public body is applying for the power to force you to sell your home if it obstructs a bigger project that benefits the public in some way. What is a CPO, then? It’s a way to get you out of your house quickly so a new project can come through. The term compulsorily, meaning ‘required’ indicates that you must follow it. When public bodies issue CPOs, meaning is implied. It will soon be compulsory that you leave. It’s essentially an order for the purchase of your home so you’ll have to leave. You can literally think of it as a purchase order. If you get a purchase order like this one, you’ll need to fight it in court.

How Should A “Compelling Case In The Public Interest” Be Defined?

It is common to use the term “compelling case in the public interest” in various legal, governmental, and regulatory contexts. Generally speaking, the term refers to situations in which actions, policies, or decisions are taken for the benefit of the general public rather than for personal gain. To provide a more detailed explanation of the UK property market, please refer to the following:

“Public interest cases are scenarios or arguments presented in the context of the UK Property Market whose societal and communal advantages outweigh individual interests and private concerns as a result of the particular action, decision, or policy. It is possible to make a variety of interventions here, such as repurposing land for community resources, adopting regulations that promote access to affordable housing, and ensuring cultural or historical sites are protected from private development. As defined by the term, the benefit to the public involves not only a benefit but also a rationale that illustrates the importance of such a benefit. The term serves as a guideline in the formulation of policies and the engagement of stakeholders in order to balance the public good with private rights or interests.”

Compulsory Purchase In The UK Property Market

Upon determining that it is in the public interest to acquire land or property without the owner’s consent in the UK, public authorities such as local authorities or government departments have the power to do so. There are a number of reasons for this, including construction projects (e.g., roads, rails, or other public works), and rehabilitation schemes in the housing industry. This is accomplished through the use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs).

Do Public Bodies Have To Negotiate?

  1. Initial Stages: The acquiring authority (the public body that is seeking to purchase the property) will usually endeavour to purchase the property by negotiation before resorting to a CPO. As a result, compulsory purchase is generally regarded as a last resort, whereas a mutually agreed sale is often more cost-effective, more timely, and less contentious.
  2. Duty to Make Every Effort: Even though compulsory purchase powers are not legally required, public bodies are generally expected and, in many cases, required to use every reasonable effort to acquire properties by agreement.
  3. Compensation: Property owners are entitled to compensation if their property is to be acquired through negotiation or a compulsory purchase agreement. As part of the compensation, the owner will be placed in a financial position similar to what they would have experienced had the compulsory purchase not taken place. The purchase of a mandatory property may result in a variety of costs and losses, including the loss of the market value of the property, the cost of purchasing a replacement property, and other potential losses.
  4. An objection can be made by a property owner if negotiations fail and a CPO is issued. Typically, if objections are received and not withdrawn, a public inquiry will be conducted under the supervision of an independent inspector, who will consider the evidence and arguments presented by both the acquiring authority and the objectors. Following the inspection, the CPO will either be confirmed, amended, or rejected by the inspector.
  5. A CPO can continue to be negotiated even after it has been confirmed. CPOs are often confirmed before the land or property is taken, so it is not unusual for an agreement to be reached after a CPO has been confirmed.

There is a strong emphasis on negotiation and reaching an agreement with the property owner in the United Kingdom, although public bodies are empowered to purchase land and property on a compulsory basis. If all other options for negotiation have been exhausted, CPO powers are used as a last resort.

What Should I Do If My Home Is Affected By A Compulsory Purchase Order?

  1. Obtain Professional Advice:
  • Solicitor: Consult a solicitor who has experience in compulsory purchase proceedings. They will be able to assist you with the legal aspects of the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
  • Surveyor: An experienced chartered surveyor specialised in valuation can provide guidance and support in determining the suitable compensation amount.
  1. Understand the CPO:
  • It is important to obtain a copy of the CPO and any plans associated with it. The purpose of the acquisition and the land or property to be acquired will be outlined in this document.
  • A clear timetable should also be included in the documents.
  1. Engage with the acquiring authority:
  • Participate in public consultations and information events. By participating in the workshop, you will gain a better understanding of the project and be able to ask direct questions.
  • Communication should remain open. Direct communication can also be helpful in clarifying doubts and concerns, even when you are represented by professionals.
  1. Lodge a Formal Objection (if necessary):
  • A formal objection can be filed by anyone who disagrees with the CPO or is concerned about its effects. The CPO notification specifies a timeframe within which this must be done.
  • In order to be valid, an objection should be based on the merits of the compulsory purchase order itself, not just on its principle.
  1. Negotiate Compensation:
  • In addition to what has already been mentioned, you are entitled to compensation. There may be other costs and losses involved as well, such as the market value of the property, relocation costs, as well as relocation costs.
  • Negotiations should begin as early as possible in order to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome. It is possible to continue negotiations after a CPO has been confirmed until the point of possession.
  1. Consider Relocation:
  • Consider alternatives to the current property or home. The relocation costs should be covered as part of your compensation.
  • If you are living in rented housing or do not wish to purchase another property, the acquiring authority may be obligated to assist you in rehousing.
  1. Keep records:
  • Ensure that all correspondence relating to the CPO is retained.
  • You may be able to reclaim any expenses incurred as a result of the CPO if you maintain a log of them.
  1. Understand Your Rights:
  • CPOs can be challenged after they are confirmed, but strict time limits apply. As a general rule, this is accomplished through a process called judicial review.
  • In certain circumstances, compensation may also be paid in advance.
  1. Monitor Progress:
  • Maintain up-to-date information regarding the CPO and the project associated with it. It is possible that delays or changes may affect your position and rights.
  • It can be a challenging experience to deal with a Compulsory Purchase Order. Nevertheless, if you obtain the proper advice, understand your rights, and engage in proactive negotiations, you will be able to navigate the process more confidently and ensure that your interests are protected.

The Bottom Line

If you find yourself facing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) affecting your property, it could necessitate a sale of your home. However, there’s potential for improved terms through negotiation. This comprehensive guide has addressed the fundamental aspects of CPOs, elucidating their purpose and implications. It has clarified the concept of a Compulsory Purchase Order, emphasising that it grants public bodies the authority to forcibly acquire properties obstructing public projects. The term “compelling case in the public interest” has been expounded upon, highlighting its significance in balancing societal benefits with individual rights in the UK property market.

For those whose homes are affected by a Compulsory Purchase Order, the guide offers a step-by-step strategy. Understand the importance of obtaining professional advice from solicitors and surveyors, comprehending the CPO details, engaging with acquiring authorities, filing formal objections if necessary, negotiating compensation, considering relocation, and keeping records. Understanding one’s rights and monitoring the progress of the CPO are the key elements to navigate the process effectively.


Who Pays The Legal Fees For The Compulsory Purchase Order?

In most cases, you do. They’ll pay a small sum for your home, the cost of a chartered surveyor, and a small amount of disturbance compensation for the compulsory purchase, but that’s it. For the compulsory order to be fought, you’ll have to pay for a solicitor.

How Much Is Compulsory Purchase Order Compensation?

In most cases, you’ll get at least market value for your home, but very little more.

What Can You Do About A Compulsory Order To Purchase Your Home?

When people get CPOs, meaning they have to get out, the only thing to do is to turn to a solicitor for help. In most cases, you simply can’t fight something like this on your own.

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