Claimant disagrees with property valuation

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  • #31943
    twill
    Participant

    A claimant has a second property which the VO has valued as £288k – the outstanding mortgage is £250k. We have refused benefit based on excess capital. He provided two letters from differing agents confirming that their ‘sale valuation’ of the property is £200k because of work being carried out on an adjoining property which in their opinion would affect its selling price – these were sent to the VO with the request for the valuation.

    The claimant has appealed our decision as he disagrees with the valuation. We’ve contacted the VO and she is adamant that she has taken into account the additional infomation and that her valuation remains.

    Where do we go from here? I’ve not encountered this situation before.

    #89340
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    Before anything further is discussed, do we assume the claimant has other capital?

    Taking 10% off £288k leaves £259.2k minus £250k = £9.2k.

    #89341
    Anonymous
    Guest

    First things first – it is YOUR decision they are appealing against, not the VO’s. You made your decision based on the VO’s report but you are not bound by their figure. If the LA thinks the VO’s figure is wrong you do not have to accept it. The VO’s report is just one piece of evidence to be considered when making your decision.

    If you uphold your decision, you would deal with the appeal in the normal way. Expect the VO’s report to be heavily scrutinised at a tribunal. R(JSA) 1/02 may give some indication of what to expect.

    #89342
    twill
    Participant

    Apologies – typo – the outstanding mortgage was £220k not £250k

    #89343
    Anonymous
    Guest

    My first steps would be:

    1) Obtain full calculation breakdown from VOA – including evidence of other similar sales in the area.
    2) Visit nethouseprices.co.uk and look for evidence of similar-sized properties being sold in the area (a bit of local knowledge helps here).
    3) Obtain details of the work being carried out at the adjoining property. How long is it expected to last? More importantly, was the work underway at the time of the claim?
    4) Ask agents for evidence of how similar work has affected other property prices in the area. If this type of work is knocking £80K off the price of a house is there some compensation arrangement in place???

    #42342
    twill
    Participant

    Many thanks mwigg – those suggestions make a lot of sense. Would rather not have to take case to appeal but a difference of more than £80k in the valuation doesn’t rest easily.

    #89344
    Anonymous
    Guest

    From a previous post of mine on the question of valuation:

    [quote:fc1e2072ca]As Para 15 HB/CTB A25/2009 makes clear, the initial VOA valuations should not be relied on for Tribunals as they are desktop valuations. Of course this begs the question as to why they are to be relied on at all, particularly given UT criticisms of the valuation methods used. [/quote:fc1e2072ca]

    #89345
    Anonymous
    Guest

    VOA valuations are a good starting point. In standard cases I find the VOA report plus a few extracts from rightmove or nethouseprices does the trick at tribunal.

    In my experience its only complicated cases – joint ownerships, external factors effecting valuation etc – where the VOA report is more heavily scrutinised.

    #89346
    Stalbansbenefits
    Participant

    I’ve had a very similar case and after several phone calls to the valuation agency, they agreed to visit the property in question.

    The result, a revised valuation some 40K less than their desktop valuation.

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