What You Need to Know If Your Family’s Hit with A CPO


A CPO or compulsory purchase order is a legal procedure that grants specific bodies the ability to obtain land or property without getting the consent of the owner. Often it is enforced when there is a proposed build or development planned for the better of the people in that area.

CPOs have been gaining a lot of media attention over the last few years as you will have seen through reports regarding the HS2 (High Speed Tail) route as well as the various football stadium developments across the country such as Liverpool or Tottenham. As you’d imagine, not all compulsory purchases are high profile but it can be stressful and upsetting time for families or adults that are forced to sell their beloved homes – at times they can be described as eviction notices if a person must reluctantly move.

So Who Can Issue A CPO?

Most of the time these orders are made by local authorities or governing bodies. If we take the football stadium example, the teams don’t have the power to issue the order, therefore the city’s council will have to step in and file for them. For this to happen, these local bodies must be able to demonstrate that the change is beneficial for the area and the people in it.

They must also be able to prove that they have made attempts to acquire the property with the owner’s agreement before that issue for the CPO. Often this is hard for families, who hold sentimental value for their home, however, the plus if you will see it that way, is that a CPO won’t come out of nowhere, giving them time to plan ahead.

How Much Will I Be Entitled To?

The concept of these orders is that home owners don’t end up in a worse position than they are already in after the purchase, meaning that all costs (within reason) are met. With that being said, families aren’t entitled to be better off than they are meaning CPO is hardly ever a windfall. At all times homeowners should at the very least be offered an amount that covers the market value of the property, including the professional fee’s, the moving costs involved and a payment for the disturbance. Please remember that it is your duty to ‘mitigate’ any losses otherwise you will run the risk of not getting compensated for your move.

Take for example the HS2 high speed railway links plans. HS2 compensation has been offered to residents for the value of the house as well as 10%, up to a maximum figure of £47,000. In addition, they got the option to sell their homes early and then rent them back until the land is needed in order to give them more flexibility.

On most occasions a CPO won’t mean that you’ll quality for additional compensation if the project enhances the value of your property, however, it can help.

Appealing: What Can I Do?

If a compulsory purchase order hits you then you are well within your rights to appeal and object to it but you must do so within 288 days. These objects must be linked to the planned project, rather than because of you feeling hard done by, by the figure offered. After all these appeals have been received, a public enquiry into the plans with commence and then it goes to Parliament on whether it goes ahead, which is often a long process.

How Soon Would You Have to Move?

Once it has been approved, the body has 3 years to act otherwise its right to do so will expire.

What If You’ll Be Affected but Haven’t Received A CPO?

Receiving a CPO is a tough enough time as it is, however, a more unfortunate scenario could be that your home won’t be purchased, yet the new development will devalue your property. Things often happens when things like power stations or motorways are planned for construction.

If in that case that this happens to you, you can potentially claim for loss of value due to the eventual cause of this new build as well as the reduction in overall value. This amount will vary massively on the project at hand and the impact it will have. If your home is already on the market when these plans go public, then this can obviously affect your likelihood for a sale. If you’re forced to noticeably reduce the price so that you can sell it, you will also have the right to gain some form of compensation even if the order doesn’t go ahead.

As a whole, CPO’s can be a difficult and confusing time for your family. You will need to know all you can about the order so that you can act in a way that is best for your financial situation. The UK government website provide a handy breakdown for you if you’re still in need of some more knowledge on the subject.