Expert Witness, Lease Extension and Probate Valuations

At Monk and Partners our surveying team have a wealth of experience and knowledge within the South West Property market that spans over 3 decades and a combined experience of over 100 years in the local market.

Expert Witness

An Expert witness is a person whose opinion by virtue of education, training, certification, skills or experience, is accepted by the judge as an expert. The judge may consider the witness’s specialised (scientific, technical or other) opinion about evidence or about facts before the court within the expert’s area of expertise, referred to as an “expert opinion”. Expert witnesses may also deliver “expert evidence” within the area of their expertise. Their testimony may be rebutted by testimony from other experts or by other evidence or facts.

Monk & Partners qualified RICS Valuers have acted as experts either on a sole or joint basis and are able to offer an experienced and swift service. As a result we are commonly recommended by most of the regions solicitor practices.

As local RICS Chartered Surveyors we are also able to produce reports when valuations are required for Court and Matrimonial disputes.

Lease Extensions

Many homes particularly conversions that were carried out in the 1980’s were sold on 125 year leases which now are becoming increasingly more difficult to sell. Banks and building societies differ in their lending criteria. Some draw the line at 75 years remaining on the lease; others may be happy with anything over 70 years. Below 60 years, it may be difficult to get a mortgage at all.

However, in the form of rights granted under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. Subject to owning the flat for two years, the leaseholder can force the landlord to extend the lease and on attractive terms. The flat owner is entitled to an extra ninety years on top of what is remaining and with the whole of the term being at a peppercorn (nil) rent. So, if 75 years are left to go, a new lease of 165 years (90 plus 75) can be granted in substitution for the existing lease, with no rent to pay throughout the whole term. And there should be no difficulty marketing a lease of so many years.

Formal Notice

Going down the 1993 Act route involves the service of formal notice on the landlord. It should include certain information, crucially the price proposed for the lease extension. This should be calculated by a professional RICS valuer. It is based on a formula designed to compensate the landlord for the loss of ground rent and the fact that the right to get the flat back at the end of the term is postponed by ninety years. In addition the landlord is entitled to half the so-called ‘marriage value’.

No marriage value is payable at all where over 80 years is left on the lease at the time the formal notice is served. Sometimes this can make a difference of several thousand pounds. So, if you are the owner of a flat, particularly if you are thinking of selling, with a term remaining of, say 83 years you should consider extending the lease. At Monk & Partners we can provide private lease extension advice and professional valuations to aid the process.

For a more information please also view the government funded site

Probate Valuations

Currently, assets totaling up to £325,000 are classed as being in the nil rate band for Inheritance Tax. When establishing an accurate value of an estate it is vital to seek independent professional advice about the value of commercial or residential property that makes up an estate.

Having these assets valued professionally could avoid longer term investigations by the Inland Revenue who are particularly vigilant about valuations which fall significantly below or above market value and will instigate investigations to recoup any money and possibly stipulate higher tax liabilities if potential fraud is suspected.

Often valuations by estate agents may not be enough for the purposes of probate, therefore it is recommended to obtain a valuation by a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) surveyor who has knowledge of the local market and the authority to produce a compliant report. It’s vital that executors of an Estate and Will understand their legal and financial obligations.

Our experienced and highly-trained staff can offer you up-to-date advice on valuations as well as other matters.

Did you know we also provide…

Commercial Agency

John Slade heads our Commercial Property Department and offers a wealth of experience in the acquisition of Commercial Property.

Why choose Monk and Partners?

Please pass my thank you onto the surveyor too as I know he has gone above and beyond to help me. It is truly appreciated!’ from Mr M. 

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