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Andrew O'Dowd from GP Surveyors gives case studies of practices that have challenged their rent valuation - plus the new NHSLA dispute guidance

Practices often accept their notional rent valuation without question, but they could gain up to a five figure sum if they dispute it. Read my article on how to do this here and look at the case studies below.

The new guidance from the NHS Litigation Authority on valuation disputes is also available to download below.

Case study 1

The original rental figure produced by the District Valuer (DV) for one of our clients was £47,000. GP Surveyors initially followed the PCTs Local Procedure. Submissions were sent to the PCT challenging the DV's opinion of the initial value and after reviewing these, the PCT sought additional advice from the DV who subsequently increased their figure to £52,000.

This new figure was deemed to be insufficient by GP Surveyors, who continued to challenge through the local procedure. The PCT referred the matter to their Appointed Surveyor to investigate and then report to the Estates Working Group (EWG). This resulted in them contesting that £52,000 was excessively high and that they would have actually valued below this level. The EWG subsequently confirmed that £52,000 was the correct figure and would not increase this figure.

To progress the case to reach an agreement we then referred the matter through the Dispute Resolution Process at the NHSLA, where the RICS appointed an Expert Advisor to conclude the case. They determined that a fair rental would be £58,000. This figure was then endorsed by the NHSLA which meant that we were able to agree a settlement with an increase of £11,000 per annum which equated to a 23% increase for the surgery.

Case study 2

During one case GP Surveyors found that one of the PCTs had altered their local policy regarding rent reimbursements. Our client informed their PCT that GP Surveyors would be representing them to negotiate on their behalf, we were advised that negotiations could only take place directly between the PCT and the GP. The PCT also took the decision at that stage not to instruct the District Valuer to negotiate the correct level of Notional Rent.

GP Surveyors advised the PCT that we would refer the case straight to the NHSLA to apply for dispute resolution, as we felt that their local policy went against the Premises Costs Directions 2004. We also felt that their policy was designed to dissuade GPs from challenging the initial Notional Rent assessment.

GP Surveyors presented a robust case with a wealth of strong evidence as to why we felt the surgery was being underfunded. The PCT subsequently changed their local policy and opened up dialogue with ourselves to resolve the case. A District Valuer was instructed to undertake negotiations and the case was then resolved quickly to our satisfaction. We were able achieve a substantial increase in rent reimbursement for the surgery.

NHSLA dispute guidance

To download the guidance click here.

NHSLA dispute guidance Andrew O'Dowd