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Compulsory purchase orders

A compulsory purchase order (CPO) can be used to buy your home, property or land from you.


Once a CPO is confirmed, you're legally required to sell your home to the acquiring authority.

The acquiring authority is the organisation who can compulsory purchase your home or property, such as the council.

You’ll get compensation for the purchase of your property.

How much compensation you’ll get

The compensation should be based on the market value of your home. This is the amount you'd get for selling on the open market.

You can also get compensation payments for having to leave and for removal costs.

If you're disabled and your home has been adapted for your needs, you should get extra compensation.

If your home is substandard

If your home needs to be demolished because of its condition, you'll either get:

  • the value of the land without any buildings on it, sometimes called the site value

  • the amount you'd get on the open market, if this is lower than the site value

Getting legal advice about compensation

A solicitor can ensure you get the right amount of compensation and negotiate with the acquiring authority on your behalf.

You can include your legal costs in the amount of compensation you claim.

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland

Check our advice on getting legal help for free or at a lower cost.

If you cannot agree on compensation

You can apply to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland to make a decision.

Your solicitor can help you apply.

When you'll get the compensation payment

Compensation is paid after the ownership of your home has transferred to the acquiring authority.

This can take several months, and it can be after you’ve moved out.

Getting an advance payment

You can ask the acquiring authority to pay you compensation in advance. This can help if you need the money to buy another home.

Write to them and ask for an advance payment. Keep copies of any letters you send them.

You’ll get 90 percent of the agreed price of your home.

You must get the money within 3 months of applying, or when ownership is transferred, whichever is later.

Payments if you have to move out

You could get extra payments when you have to leave your home. You can claim any of the following:

  • a home loss payment - to compensate you for losing your home

  • a disturbance payment - to cover removal costs

  • a well maintained payment - for keeping your home in a good state of repair

Home loss payment

Owners are entitled to receive up to 10 percent of the market value of their home, with a minimum payment of £1,500 and a maximum payment of £15,000.

To qualify, you must:

  • live in the property for at least 1 year before your home is compulsory purchased

  • be living there on the date the CPO is confirmed

To apply, contact the acquiring authority and ask for their home loss application form.

If they reject your application, you can ask a court to review the decision. You'll need a solicitor to help you apply.

Disturbance payment

This covers things like:

  • removal costs

  • altering carpets and curtains for your new home

  • removing and reinstalling appliances, such as your cooker or washing machine

To qualify, you must be:

  • living in the property when you received the notice from the acquiring authority that they intend to purchase your home

  • required to move out permanently

You may need to pay these expenses yourself, then claim back the costs. In some cases, the acquiring authority can offer you a lump sum in advance.

If you need to pay yourself, keep receipts for any expenses you have and submit them when you claim.

If they reject your application, you can ask a court to review the decision. You'll need a solicitor to help you apply.

Well maintained payment

The acquiring authority will tell you if you can claim a well maintained payment.

If they say you cannot, and you disagree, you can appeal to the Secretary of State within 21 days of receiving the letter. Get a solicitor to help you appeal.

Last updated: 15 December 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England