Should I obtain legal advice and why?
Yes, this is strongly recommended. The acquisition of property is a serious matter and the Crown is required to follow a specified process. Obtaining legal advice will protect your rights and position and give you peace of mind.
When should I involve a lawyer?
Ideally, as soon as you are notified by the Crown of its intention to acquire your land. This will mean your rights can be protected from the outset. However, you can involve a lawyer at any subsequent stage to ensure you are protected throughout the remainder of the process.
How much will it cost?
If an acquisition proceeds under the Public Works Act, the Crown is required to reimburse reasonable legal fees. In some cases we seek approval from the acquirer for our fees.
When do I need to involve a valuer?
You can obtain an independent valuation from a registered valuer at any stage of the acquisition process. The valuation obtained will form part of the basis for negotiations and agreement on compensation with the Crown.
If you do seek an independent valuation or advice from a valuer, then the reasonable cost of this may be reimbursed if the advice is considered to be necessary to quantify your loss. We suggest that if you dispute or have concerns about the Crown’s valuation of your property, then an independent valuation of your property should be obtained. Even if the valuation comes back at a similar amount, at least you will have confirmation that the offer from the Crown is appropriate.
What can you expect during the negotiations?
You can expect us to inform you fully about the process, the effects of each step and your rights at each point. This will include ensuring you understand the basis of any valuation report provided to you.
How often would I need to meet with my lawyer?
Often we can liaise with our clients by telephone and email, which they usually find more convenient. However, we recommend where possible, that we do meet with you initially so we can obtain a detailed account of the background from you and listen to your concerns.
Where are you located?
Our office is easily accessible when meetings are required. We are based at Level 4, 40-42 Eden Crescent in Auckland City, a road that runs between Shortland Street and the Auckland High Court. Eden Crescent has metered parking and there are generally a number of vacant cars spaces. We will reimburse any parking meter charges you incur.
Many of our clients are outside Auckland in which case most communication is by telephone and email.
Click here to read an article on the advantages and disadvantages of a fast settlement.