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Tenant Claims in Expropriation

The Expropriations Act prescribes various compensation entitlements for the owners of expropriated lands.  Tenants of expropriated lands, including commercial tenants, are considered “owners” under the statute.  For example, the tenant of a retail plaza that is subject to an expropriation is entitled to claim compensation for damages or business losses caused by the taking. 

 Often, tenant claims arise as “disturbance damages”.  Disturbance damages can include a tenant’s moving costs if relocation is required, as well as business losses incurred as the result of the expropriation.  The Expropriations Act notes that when determining the compensation of a tenant, there shall be regard to the length of the term of the lease, the portion of the term remaining, any rights of renewal or the reasonable prospect of renewal, the nature of the business and the extent of the tenant’s investment in the land.  

 These factors are meant to prescribe a contextual analysis in determining compensation for tenants and have been applied in a number of cases, including a 2006 decision entitled Murfin (c.o.b. Kingsdale Animal Hospital) v. Ontario (Ministry of Transportation).  In Murfin, the OMB awarded the tenant disturbance damages for its relocation of a purpose-built animal hospital.  In that case, the length of the term remaining on the lease was a key factor in the compensation award. 

 The Expropriations Act is intended to provide full and fair compensation for those impacted by compulsory land takings, including tenants/business owners.

 

Related Blogs

Learning of a Potential Expropriation

Landowners often learn of a potential expropriation long before it actually takes place. Owners will sometimes become aware that their lands are to be acquired/expropriated for an infrastructure project through a public consultation or information session.

Why is My Land Being Expropriated

Land can be expropriated for a variety of public purposes, depending on the institution or government authority carrying out the work. Most expropriation projects arise out of a need for new and improved public infrastructure, and arrive on the heels of environmental assessments which determine the best route or location for the project.

Legal Costs Under the Expropriations Act

The Expropriations Act is a remedial statute with the purpose of rendering the expropriated land owner economically whole. Accordingly, in addition to prescribing compensation for land taken and related impacts, the Act also prescribes the reimbursement of reasonable legal and professional costs incurred by an owner in the determination of compensation. The reimbursement of costs is contemplated under section 32 of the Act.

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