Valuation client services

Land & Property Services (LPS) provide valuation services to the public sector in Northern Ireland. 

Who is included?

Included are the Northern Ireland and Great Britain departments and agencies, district councils, area boards, housing associations, health trusts, and statutory and non-statutory bodies. The main professional services we offer are closely related to the functions of the main departments and public bodies. 

For more information on our services, please click on the link below:

Compulsory acquisition

Public authorities possess powers to vest or acquire property compulsorily if it is needed for their functions. Generally these relate to the following:

  • road schemes
  • the provision of public utilities
  • health and education services
  • social housing
  • urban regeneration
  • industrial development

LPS can advise the authorities acquiring the land, both before and after vesting, on all aspects of compulsory purchase and negotiate individual claims for compensation on their behalf.

Sometimes there is betterment to land retained by the claimant that needs to be estimated and off-set against compensation for the acquired land and other losses.

We provide estimates of compensation where advance payments are requested and provide expert witnesses should a claim be referred to the Lands Tribunal or other court.

Acquisition by agreement

The acquisition of property is a major investment decision and a full appraisal of expenditure and evaluation of options is required by the Northern Ireland Guide to Expenditure Appraisal and Evaluation (NIGEAE). This requires departments to consult the District Valuer in on all property valuation matters relating to appraisals including those involving private sector consultants.

LPS provide assistance with the following:

  • formulation of property options
  • site and/or premises searches
  • advice on opportunity costs
  • provide estimates of capital and rental values of sites and buildings
  • provide estimates of rateable value and rental performance
  • calculate residual values
  • provide estimates of value based on depreciated replacement cost for specialised buildings where the market is limited

When a preferred option has been identified we negotiate terms for purchase or lease.

Where the acquisition involves procurement of accommodation yet to be constructed we advise the client on the end-to-end process as part of a construction / legal / valuation team and negotiate terms with the developer.

We also negotiate the acquisition by agreement of residential property where the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) wish to add to their stock, or they have been asked to purchase a dwelling under the Scheme for the Purchase of Evacuated Dwellings (SPED). This scheme enables someone being intimidated or threatened where they live to apply to the NIHE to acquire the property so enabling them to move quickly.

Compensation

Compensation may be payable where a public authority exercises powers that do not involve acquisition of land but nevertheless cause damage to land or adversely affect its value. Often this involves damage and disturbance to homes and businesses caused by the execution and/or use of public works.

Compensation may also be payable in connection with the following:

  • Tree Preservation Orders
  • Closing Orders
  • Demolition Orders
  • Stopping-Up Orders
  • criminal damage
  • acquisition of wayleaves for public utilities
  • revocation of planning permission
  • restriction of agricultural operations in Areas of Special Scientific Interest

LPS negotiate individual claims for compensation in these cases and where a claim is referred to the Lands Tribunal or other court we provide an expert witness.

LPS has published several guides to compensation, please see the link below:

Disposal

Managing Public Money Northern Ireland (MPMNI) requires that once surplus assets have been identified they should be disposed of as quickly as possible subject to value for money considerations.

Disposing departments need to be aware of The Stormont Regulation and Government Property Act (Northern Ireland) 1933, which requires any sale, exchange, lease, or surrender of land to be at the best price or for the best rent or otherwise on the best terms which, in the opinion of the Department of Finance and Personnel, can reasonably be obtained.

In certain cases departments and non-departmental public bodies may have to offer surplus property back to the former owners or their successors. Comprehensive guidance on the operation of these rules is contained in the LPS Central Advisory unit documents in the link below:

We advise at all stages of the disposal process, value surplus property for transfer to other departments, undertake direct negotiations with former owners or sitting tenants, advise on the best means of disposal, appoint agents and approve selling prices.

Valuation

LPS provides capital and rental valuations of agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial land and property for a wide range of statutory and extra-statutory purposes including social security benefits, housing grants, rental allowances, transfer between bodies, option appraisal etc.

We also adjudicate appeals under the Housing Executive’s House Sales scheme and the NI Co-ownership Housing Association’s Equity sharing scheme.

Where any scheme or purpose includes provision for arbitration or appeal we will provide an expert witness.

Useful links

Asset valuation

LPS provides asset valuations for all Northern Ireland (NI) departments and their executive agencies, all district councils and for a wide range of non departmental and statutory bodies.

Valuations of property assets are included in financial statements and used for resource accounting and budgeting. This has been the case for NI departments since 1991 and for NHS bodies since the introduction of a capital charging regime in the NHS in the 1980s.

LPS undertake all asset valuations for NI departments in line with the HM Treasury Financial Reporting Manual (FReM) and asset valuations for NI councils in line with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) Capital Accounting for local authorities. All valuations are undertaken having regard to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as applied to the UK public sector.

All LPS valuers who undertake asset valuations are qualified chartered surveyors. LPS practices comply with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Valuation Standards (The Red Book) which provides a regulated framework and practice guidance and standards, including compliance with International Valuation Standards which are now recognised and adopted in most parts of the world. All LPS asset valuers are registered with the RICS Valuer Registration Scheme.

In addition to asset valuation we provide the value of building components, estimates of remaining life and residual value to facilitate the assessment of depreciation charges and provide valuations in connection with lease classification and accounting.

The detailed property records we hold on all public sector property for non-domestic rating purposes are available for use in asset valuations, and our records of market transactions enable us to advise on appropriate indices to use to update values between revaluations.

Property asset management

Managing Public Money Northern Ireland requires that holdings of freehold and leasehold land and buildings be kept under constant review. LPS advises on opportunities to maximise the value of property assets held by clients and help identify development potential or property which may be surplus to requirements. More information can be found in the link below:

Responsibility for property asset management has transferred to the Strategic Investment Board, Asset Management Unit. Please contact:

  • Jonathon Moore on 028 9090 9460

Landlords and tenants

LPS advises on the processes and conducts negotiations in respect of new leases, rent reviews, lease renewal or surrender and the requesting or granting of landlord consents under a lease.

When required, it acts for clients in arbitration cases by providing an expert witness.

It also undertakes lettings, rent reviews and lease renewals for tenanted property owned by clients.

Taxation

LPS provides valuations to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for the purpose of National Taxation:

  • Capital Gains tax
  • Inheritance tax
  • Corporation tax
  • Income tax
  • Stamp Duty Land tax

We advise on separate values which can be attributed to elements of a property entitled to relief and negotiate settlements with taxpayers or their representatives. Where agreement cannot be reached we provide an expert witness to advise the Lands Tribunal or other court to which a case is referred.

Consultancy

LPS provides consultancy advice on specific property-related schemes and programmes.

Most concern general issues in the following:

  • estate management
  • disposal strategies for larger estates
  • privatisation
  • implications of new legislation or accounting requirements
  • procurement schemes funded under the Private Finance Initiative
  • urban regeneration

Urban regeneration

Urban regeneration advice includes the following:

  • scheme definition
  • land assembly
  • use of compulsory purchase powers
  • structuring and operation of development agreements
  • design and implementation of claw-back and overage provisions

Valuers often work as part of multi-disciplinary teams supporting client departments for the duration of a project.

Grant funding appraisals

LPS undertakes development appraisals and advises on the need for shortfall funding in respect of urban regeneration, heritage and economic development schemes.

We also work closely with grant awarding bodies and their grant aided partners in the design and operation of overage and clawback arrangements. These ensure an equitable split between the partners of any windfall gain not anticipated when the grant was made.

Charges for services

The cost of services is calculated on a full cost recovery basis with no cross subsidisation between categories of work or client. An hourly rate is applied for each grade of staff who works on a case.

Services to Exchequer clients such as NI Civil Service departments are provided on allied service terms. These clients are advised of the cost of the work but no charges are applied.

Services to non-Exchequer clients, such as GB departments, non-departmental public bodies, and district councils etc, are hard charged, based on the hourly rate for the grade and any travel or incidental expenditure incurred.

Terms of Engagement

Where we agree to provide services on an ongoing basis and for periods of two or more years we will normally seek to implement a Service Level Agreement that sets out the responsibilities of the parties, the services to be provided under the agreement, the volumes of work likely to be referred, and the standards of service that will apply.

Where services are provided on an ad hoc basis or are required only occasionally, our standard Terms of Engagement will apply. The Terms of Engagement can be found in the link below:


Related to Valuation client services

Access to information

How to request information from the Department of Finance including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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