Land affairs: land exploitation and expropriation

It regularly occurs during the development of a project that not all land is the property of the developer or builder. The municipality implements a land policy and gives shape to the area development, inter alia through the establishing of preferential rights. Also in the event of a land development agreement, the area development takes place by means of the recording of arrangements regarding the making ready of the land for use. This process does not always run as required and expropriation may be on the agenda.

Preferential right of the municipality

If the municipality establishes a preferential right, this means in most cases that the owner of the land can no longer freely sell the land; the owner must first offer the land to the municipality. The owner is under no circumstances obliged to sell, not even to the municipality. If the municipality still wishes to force the sale, it will have to proceed with expropriation proceedings. If the municipality wants to purchase land on which a preferential right is established, this must take place at a fair price in accordance with the Municipalities (Preferential Rights) Act. If a developer or builder still wishes to make use of land on which a preferential right has been established by the municipality, consultation must be held regarding this with the (local) authority. You can also request the municipality not to purchase the land. The authorities can decide to discontinue the blockade which is formed by the preferential right.

Land development

In the event of area development, the authorities often actively co-develop. Developers such as housing associations arrange the construction of dwellings, but they are also dependent on the municipality for the provision of mains services, streets, amendments of land-use plans, etcetera. In many cases a land exploitation agreement is concluded. This records the arrangements about making the building land ready for use and the development of the project in a binding manner. The costs of readying for use are in principle on the account of the developer and/or builder. It is also possible for the land exploitation to be arranged by means of a development plan. Many issues are involved in land exploitation, as a result of which it is important to form clear agreements with the authorities. The specialists of the Property department of AK Advocaten have a wealth of experience and knowledge in assisting the development process from beginning to end.

Expropriation and compensation

If the authorities wish to use your land, they will first try to purchase the land from you. In that event, you will always have the right to compensation of loss of income as well as financial loss. If no agreement can be reached, the authorities can potentially acquire the land by means of expropriation proceedings. Expropriation means that the land, with all that which is on it, will become the property of the authorities and the previous owner will be compensated. The civil court will pronounce the expropriation and will determine the level of the compensation. Independent experts are engaged to advise in the event of expropriation. Nevertheless, it is of great importance that the level of the compensation is properly assessed. Expropriation law is an area of expertise for specialists which involves comprehensive case law reaching back many years. AK Advocaten is the right firm to provide you with advice regarding a preferential right established on your land and the land exploitation agreement to be recorded, or, alternatively, to advise you of what your rights are in the event of expropriation. If you wish to enter into consultation or negotiations with the municipality about the sale of your land or the possibilities of selling your land to others then it is advisable to make contact with us. Our lawyers are here to take care of your interests, but can also provide you with realistic perspectives and can keep the negotiations on track. Please contact us. Property Law