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Property valuation disputes and how to resolve them

BLOG: Property valuation disputes and how to resolve them

Putting a valuation on a property isn’t a formulaic process and as a result, there can often be variation in what people determine a particular property may be worth. Furthermore, where the building has been subject to the negligent actions of one or more parties, the resulting impact on the property’s value can cause a dispute to arise.

Valuations not only underpin property sales and purchases, but also apply in several other circumstances and transactions, including capital gains tax calculation, loan security assessment, rental value assessment, stamp duty assessment and end of tenancy liability. Where the parties involved can’t come to an agreement on a property’s valuation, it can cause a significant hurdle to proceeding with the situation at hand.

 

So what are the options for resolving a property valuation dispute?

Get a professional valuation

In the first instance, it is always advisable for the parties themselves to try to reach an agreement on a valuation. In order to assist, it can be helpful to instruct the services of a RICS Registered Valuer or Chartered Surveyor, who will be able to conduct an inspection of the property and provide a corresponding Valuation Report. As the services of RICS Registered Valuers and Chartered Surveyors are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), any Valuation Report they produce must be impartial and independent. As such, the resulting valuation might be sufficient evidence to allow the parties to agree and move forward.

 

Seek legal advice

If an agreement cannot be reached and a dispute develops, it may be necessary to seek legal advice to protect your position.

As part of the process, a Chartered Surveyor can be instructed to provide a basis for the solicitors and legal teams involved to pursue or defend the case, as well as identifying issues that the Court will consider when reaching a verdict. In this capacity, a Chartered Surveyor would provide Valuation Reports and Independent Expert Determinations, discuss our findings during alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and other types of proceedings. Only Valuers that are regulated by the RICS are able to provide these services during legal proceedings.

Lea Hough has a number of connections in the Lancashire legal community and can recommend a suitable litigation solicitor should you require.

 

Court intervention

Court proceedings should always be a last resort in property disputes as the legal costs involved in litigation can quickly mount up; sometimes outweighing the benefit you might receive from the revised valuation figure. However, sometimes it becomes necessary to go to court – particularly where the valuation dispute pertains to the negligent actions of a party resulting in a substantial reduction in valuation.

In the event of a property valuation dispute going to court, RICS Registered Valuers can be appointed as an Expert Witness. This involves the preparation of Expert Witness Reports in line with CPR Part 35 Protocol and the requirements of the Court, Civil Procedure Rules and RICS Practice Directions.

Being involved in a property dispute of any kind is something most of us would rather avoid. Seeking advice from a firm of Chartered Surveyors at as early a stage as possible can prevent disputes from escalating.

Furthermore, having a property valuation report produced by a RICS Registered Valuer or Chartered Surveyor in the first instance might prevent the opportunity for a dispute to arise at all.

To seek advice or instruct the services of our team of RICS Registered Valuers, either as a means of trying to avoid a property dispute or to act as an Expert Witness, please contact us.

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"I have read your report again and I appreciate the level of detail and the effort you have gone to in surveying the property - thank you. You’re looking at properties every day and you know what you’re looking for – so you’ve seen things that I would never have spotted. You have opened my eyes on numerous defects on this property and am seriously thinking about leaving the idea of buying. The report was money wells spent!"

Guido Staffa, GS Tiling Contractors Ltd.