HS2 Phase 2B – The Need To Sell Scheme

On the 15 November 2016, the Government opened two compensation schemes for HS2, Phase 2B. This includes the Express Purchase Scheme, if your property is within the safeguarded area, or the Need to Sell Scheme.

The Need to Sell Scheme replaces the exceptional hardship scheme which opened in 2013 when the route was first announced. There is no geographical boundary restricting the Need to Sell Scheme, but you must be able to demonstrate that you have a compelling reason to sell the property. However, you are unable to do so as a result of the announcement of HS2.

The successful applicants will have their property purchased by the Government at its open market value, i.e. the value of the property it would have been without any effect arising from HS2.

To make a claim under the Need to Sell Scheme you must prove you have a qualifying interest in the property, for an example an owner/occupier of a private residence.

Prior to making a claim under the Need to Sell Scheme, you must have three Estate Agents provide a valuation of the property and then market the property with a recognised Estate Agent for three months. If you do not receive a realistic, unblighted asking price, being less than 15% of the open market value, you can then make a claim to HS2 to purchase the property.

There has been some issues with claimants proving that they have a compelling reason to sell the property and each case will be dealt with individually on a case by case basis.

Tom Selby of Rostons stated “a number of property owners are now looking to make a claim through the Need to Sell Scheme, however, it is worth noting that there is a large amount of paperwork required and documentation that will be submitted as part of the claim and those looking to make a claim will need to market their property sooner rather than later, especially if they do have a compelling reason to sell the property.