Professional Services

Our professional services department is led by Lloyd Smale FRICS and Rupert Geering AssocRICS and are able to advise on a range of professional valuation matters.

Inheritance Tax/Probate

Whilst solicitors and HMRC are often content to rely on ‘valuations/market appraisals’ for IHT purposes, there is often a need for a formal RICS valuation report for example: where a share in a property falls to be valued, where commercial or agricultural property is involved, in circumstances where there is some prospect of the property being developed, where the value in the Estate is above/close to the tax threshold, or there is some element of dispute. 

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on the increase in value on certain assets (not normally a person’s principal/primary residence) usually as between date of purchase and date of sale. In some circumstances though a valuation is required at an historic base date from which to calculate the gain.  In addition to the valuation advice taxpayers may also require sale proceeds to be apportioned as between those parts of a property which are subject to CGT and those which are not.  

SDLT

Stamp Duty has become more complex over the years and where mixed-use property is sold differing rates may apply to different parts of the property and so an apportionment of the sale price may be required. 

Help to Buy

Where dwellings were purchased with assistance from the Government Help to Buy schemes are sold, or where the owner wishes to repay the Government loan, a formal RICS valuation is required and Target HCA (the administrators of the Gov scheme) have specific requirements which are outlined in the Article on our web site.

Shared Ownership and Staircasing

See our article on this on the web site.

The interest being valued may be freehold or long leasehold, but the valuer is always reporting 100% of the value.

Where the property owner is looking to sell their share a formal RICS valuation is required and will reflect the value of the property as found at the date of inspection. Where the homeowner is looking to staircase, i.e., purchase an additional share in the property, the valuation is again 100% of the freehold or leasehold interest but this time does not include the value of improvements undertaken by the occupier. The list of improvements to be excluded needs to be agreed as between homeowner the Housing Association.

In all cases the homeowner is responsible for finding a valuer and agreeing a fee, but some Associations then instruct the valuer, whilst others leave the homeowner to do so. In all cases the valuation is for the benefit of both. 

Matrimonial & Expert Witness

Formal valuations as an Expert Witness are often required for matrimonial purposes, or in disputes where the value of a property, or its diminution in value, needs to be quantified to assess damages.

This is an area of work where we hope to continue to receive instructions, typically being referred by Family/Litigation lawyers.

Often can involve more than one property and/or several valuations on different bases/assumptions.

Increasingly appointments are on a Single Joint Expert basis where the valuer acts for both parties, with each paying half the fee, however the valuation is really for the Court and the valuer has to act truly independently of each party to the dispute – often being instructed to not speak to either and even to only inspect if the properties have been vacated.  

SIPP updates

Property held in a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) needs to be valued by an RICS Registered valuer upon acquisition on both a capital and rental value basis. Usually updates of both are required every three years. Commercial property only.

Lease details, and any bespoke requirements of the SIPP Trustees need to be identified, and whilst often commissioned by the individual for whom the SIPP was set up the Trustees of the Scheme are the clients with whom we have to agree Terms of Engagement and report to. 

Charities Act

Charities who wish to dispose of property on a lease for more than seven years or on a freehold basis have to obtain a Qualified Surveyors Report from an MRICS or FRICS valuer. The report has to provide valuation advice, plus cover how best to market the property and advise on what is in the best interests of the Charity.

Whilst not a legal requirement Charities are advised to seek similar advice when considering an acquisition.

We hope to be assisting the Methodist Church with advice on church disposals.

Residential Lease Extension

Qualifying owners of long leasehold flats have a statutory right to apply for a 90-year extension to the unexpired term of their existing lease. The premium to be paid for the extension must be calculated in accordance with a statutory formula. We might be instructed by freeholder/landlords or the lessees.

In recent years this has been a growth area as once unexpired terms get below 80 years not only does the cost of the premium escalate, but lenders start to become nervous about approving a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders won’t lend on properties with a lease under 70 years. They want the lease to extend for at least 40 years after the end of the mortgage term so that the value of the property won’t be affected. 

Collective Enfranchisement

Subject to qualifying conditions owners of leasehold flats in a block can get together to exercise a statutory right to ‘collectively enfranchise’ i.e., buy the freehold, thereby enabling themselves to control the building better and grant themselves leases of indeterminate length.

Not so popular as individual Lease extension, but we may get occasional enquiries.

Compulsory Purchase compensation

Public bodies (e.g. Highways Agency, Councils) and the main Utility providers have statutory powers to acquire property and/or rights over property for the purposes of fulfilling their functions. Examples would be a road widening where there is a need to acquire land  from a farmer, or where a new sewer needs to be laid across a field/allotment/carpark/garden to facilitate a development project.  

Part 1 Compensation

Under the Land Compensation Act 1973 qualifying property owners can claim for diminution in value arising from the use public works, e.g. a new highway. However, the claim is limited to the loss in value due to physical factors arising from use of the scheme i.e., noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke and artificial lighting and the discharge on to the land in respect of which the claim is made of any solid or liquid substance. 

New roads are the most typical causes of claims, and the main triggers are noise and artificial lighting. If claims are successful usually no more than about 5%

Utilities, Easements, Covenants

In addition to any compulsory purchase situations as referred to above there may be occasions where private individuals seek to reach an agreement regarding the granting or extinguishing of rights for passage of services, access, or restriction on use. 

Rent Review

Most typically for retail, office, and warehouse/industrial property. But we may get enquiries regarding Doctors, Dentist, Vet surgeries as all have featured in the past.