Whilst most people associate property surveys and valuations with moving house or purchasing a property, there are actually a great many other situations in which we’re instructed. In part one of this blog, we look at some of the many other circumstances in which our Chartered Surveyors and RICS Registered Valuers conduct Valuation reports:
After a family member has passed away you will need to ascertain a value for their money, assets and possessions (also known as their estate). Where an estate includes property, a Valuation will need to be generated before probate is granted so that any Inheritance Tax liability can be calculated. As Chartered Surveyors working under the RICS code of ethics, our valuation reports will stand up to the scrutiny of HM Customs & Excise (should this be required) and we can work closely with accountants and solicitors during this process.
When a couple decide to divorce it will be necessary to ensure that a fair financial settlement is reached. As the matrimonial home is a significant asset and often one or other of the parties wishes to continue to live at the property, its value will need to be agreed.
Lea Hough can provide a Market Valuation, which can be used to help decide how the matrimonial home, and any other jointly owned property assets, should be divided between parties involved in divorce proceedings. We are often instructed by solicitors on behalf of their clients to undertake this work. Both parties may want to obtain their own separate valuation report or, on occasion, we are instructed jointly by both parties in the divorce to conduct the valuation assessment and we can also be called by the Court to do so. As independent Chartered Surveyors, our reports are prepared to recognised standards of impartiality.
Due to increases in property prices in recent years, many more people are finding that the value of their estate now falls into the bracket for Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability. Although new rules now mean that there is an allowance for the direct descendants of an individual/couple when it comes to their main residence (called the Residence Nil Rate Band), many estates will still fall above this tax free bracket and any other owned properties will again fall outside this allowance. We are often called in by clients who are in the process of making plans to reduce their IHT liability. We are able to conduct an accurate and up to date assessment of the value of their property/portfolio so they can then put any necessary plans in place.
Home owners sometimes decide to raise finance to pay for an extension or refurbishments. Rather than take out a loan they will often consider re-mortgaging to release capital. At this stage, a Chartered Valuation Surveyor’s Report will be required to determine the property’s current-day market value, so that the mortgage lender can be satisfied with the increased level of mortgage that is requested. Similarly business owners who wish to raise finance to invest in their firm may also take the same process and re-mortgage their commercial property.
Under a government initiative, if a buyer can’t afford the mortgage on 100% of a home the “Help to Buy” shared ownership scheme allows buyers to buy a share of a house (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share, often to a housing association. However, at a later stage the owner may wish to buy out the remainder to progress to full ownership, at which point we are often jointly instructed by the occupier and the housing association to impartially establish the open market valuation so that a deal can be agreed, and in doing so we often need to take into account any home improvements that the owner has made and assess their impact on the property’s value.
No matter what the reason for requiring a valuation or survey report, our Chartered Surveyors offer independent, impartial advice. We can deal with bespoke instructions for one property or a portfolio/estate and can liaise directly with a client’s accountant and solicitor if this is easier.
We pride ourselves in having local knowledge, expertise and above all, a personal approach. For this reason, we often develop excellent working relationships with both individual clients and professional advisers – some of whom instruct us time and time again to undertake work on their behalf.
To discuss employing Lea Hough’s services for a valuation or survey for any reason, or to speak to one of our RICS Registered Valuers, please contact us.