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VALUATION AND VALUERS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 867 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VALUATION AND VALUERS. A valuation of property may be required in view of a proposed sale or purchase, or in order to ascertain the amount for which it will constitute a sufficient security if mortgaged, or which should be paid by way of compensation where it is compulsorily taken or wrongfully damaged. It may also be necessary with a view to the assessment of property for rating, or for fiscal or other purposes. Where it is desired to ascertain the amount which may properly be invested in the purchase of land or buildings, the valuer will consider their character and situation, and the greater or less degree of risk incidental to their nature, in order to determine the rate of interest which they ought to yield. The valuation will proceed upon the basis that the property should return to the purchaser the capital which he invests together with interest at the rate so settled, or afford him security for such interest while he keeps the property and the return of the capital when he desires to realize it. Accordingly, the net rent which it may be expected to yield must be ascertained by deducting the known and estimated outgoings and any other allowances which have to be taken into consideration from the gross amount which a knowledge of the local circumstances indicates as the probable return. Where the property is leasehold held for a term of fixed duration, the number of years' purchase will depend upon the length of the unexpired portion of the term, and can be ascertained without special calculation by reference to a table in common use. If the duration. of the term or other interest in the property is uncertain, as, for example, in the case of a lease for lives, the number of years' purchase which may fairly be taken will be found in some other of the tables (e.g. Inwood's or Willich's), which have been prepared to meet the different classes of cases with which valuers have to deal. If the property is freehold the number of years' purchase can be found by dividing one hundred by the rate of the interest required. A valuation or appraisement, under English law, need not be stamped where it is made (I) for, and for the information of, one party only, and is not obligatory as between parties; (2) in pursuance of the order of a court of admiralty or on appeal therefrom; (3) of property of a deceased person for the information of an executor, or other person required to deliver an affidavit of the estate of such deceased person; or (4) of any property for the purpose of ascertaining the legacy or succession or account duty payable in respect thereof. Any other valuation or appraisement, whether of property or any interest therein or of the annual value thereof, or of any dilapidations or of any repairs wanted or of the materials and labour used, or to be used, in any building or of any artificer's work, must be stamped. An appraiser who makes an appraisement or valuation chargeable with stamp duty must, within fourteen days after making it, write it out in words and figures showing the full amount thereof upon duly stamped material. If he omits to do so, or in any other manner discloses the amount, he becomes liable to a fine of £5o. Any person who receives from an appraiser, or pays for the making of, any such appraisement or valuation not so written out and stamped, becomes liable to a fine of £20. Where a contract has been made for the sale of property at a valuation, a valuation made in accordance with its terms will be conclusive as between the parties, in the absence of fraud, collusion or mistake. Where there has been an agreement to sell goods on the terms that the price-is to be fixed by the valuation of a third party and such third party cannot or does not make such valuation, the agreement is avoided ; but if the goods or any part thereof have been delivered to and appropriated by the buyer he must pay a reasonable price therefor. Where the third party is prevented from making the valuation by the fault of the seller or buyer, the party not in fault may maintain an action for damages against the party in fault. Where the fixing of a value by valuers is not of the essence of an agreement, but is wholly subsidiary to it, the courts will, if justice require it, ascertain the value in order to carry the agreementinto effect. Where an agreement had been entered into for the sale of a house at a fixed price and of the fixtures and furniture therein at a valuation by a person named by both parties, and he undertook the valuation but was refused permission by the vendor to enter the premises for that purpose, the vendor was ordered to allow the entry so that the valuation might proceed. A person who exercises the calling of an appraiser or who, for or in expectation of any fee or reward makes any valuation or appraisement chargeable with stamp duty, must (unless he is licensed as an auctioneer or house agent) have an appraiser's licence, upon which a duty of £2 is charged and which continues in force from the day of its date until the following 5th of July. By default in this respect a liability to a penalty of £5o is incurred. Moreover, an unlicensed appraiser cannot recover remuneration. A valuer is liable to the person who has employed him for the consequences of negligence or want of due care and skill on his part. If his services are thereby rendered worthless he will not be able to recover anything by way of remuneration. A valuation of a house taken by a railway company made by a surveyor who did not enter the house was held not to be a proper valuation. Although a valuer cannot be expected to possess a minute and accurate knowledge of the law, he ought to be acquainted with the general principles applicable to the valuations which he undertakes so far as is necessary in order to enable him to make them properly. The valuer, however, will be liable for the consequences of his negligence only towards the person who employed him, and not to any one else who may happen in fact to have been prejudiced thereby. (H. HA.)
End of Article: VALUATION AND VALUERS
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