The amendments to the Land Acquisition Act (the “LAA”) arising from the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act 2014 have come into effect from 7 July 2014 and 29 September 2014.
The LAA has been amended for two main purposes:
- Revised application of betterment levy: When the Government acquires part of a land owner’s land, the value of the remaining portion of land held by the land owner could increase due to the use that the land acquired will be put. Currently, the LAA requires such increase in value, known as the betterment levy, to be deducted from the statutory compensation the land owner is given for the acquired land. The LAA will be amended to remove the requirement for such increase to be deducted. Hence, land owners will receive compensation equivalent to the full market value of the acquired land. This change is effective from 7 July 2014.
- Enabling the management corporation (the “MC”) of strata-titled developments to act on behalf of individual unit owners in acquisitions of common property: The LAA and the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act will be amended to allow the MC to represent individual unit owners when common property is acquired. The MC will also be able to use the MC’s fund for acquisition related expenses. This amendment will minimise inconvenience to individual unit owners, as well as allow for quicker progress of the acquisition proceedings and disbursement of compensation. Currently, when small parcels of common areas in strata-titled developments are acquired, unit owners must go through the entire acquisition process individually even if their own units are not affected by the acquisition, and even if their share of the compensation is not significant. This change is effective from 29 September 2014.