Rule 42 documents
Rule 42(5) of the Lands Tribunal Rules 1996 provides as follows:
“A party shall, within 28 days of receiving a request from the registrar, send to him and to the other parties to the proceedings a copy of each of the following documents relating to the evidence to be given by each expert witness –
- a) the expert witness’s report, including every plan and valuation of the land or property to which the proceedings relate (which shall include full particulars and computations in support of the valuation) which it is proposed to put in evidence; and
- b) either -
(i) full particulars of any comparable properties and transactions to which the party intends to refer at the hearing in support of his case and a statement of the purpose for which the comparison is made; or
(ii) a statement that no comparable properties or transactions will be referred to.
The practical effect of this provision is that at any time after a reference has been made to the Tribunal, the registrar may give 28 days notice requiring copies of expert witnesses’ valuations, comparables, maps and plans to be supplied. At the same time copies must be served on all the other parties.
For guidance on the preparation of expert reports see Appendix 24.
Preparation of documents and exhibits - general considerations
Witnesses must be fully familiar with the RICS Practice Statement – Surveyors Acting as Expert Witnesses, a copy of which can be down-loaded from the RICS web-site. They should also ensure that the report meets the requirements of the Lands Tribunal Practice Direction 16 with regards to content.
The number of the reference which constitutes the title to the proceedings (Rule 11) must be stated on all exhibits. The office file reference should not be quoted.
Every exhibit, including plans, maps, photographs or other documents, should be identified by a reference e.g. DV1, DV2 etc. Elaborate references e.g. incorporating the valuer’s initials or unnecessary sub-divisions should be avoided.
Where the exhibit is large and has to be folded the reference should be placed in a position (if necessary by repeating it on the back) so that it can be clearly seen whether the exhibit is folded or opened.
Exhibits should be held together in proper sequence normally within a ring-binder, to facilitate easy removal. Staples should not be used. It is usually preferable to avoid marking the exhibits themselves but to include the exhibit behind a divider marked with the exhibit number, so as to avoid unnecessary work when changing exhibit numbers during the drafting process.
Typed documents such as valuations and schedules of comparable properties should not be prepared in a cramped format. Spacious columns and layout avoid confusion at the hearing and enable the evidence of the DV to be followed more readily by counsel and the LT. For the time being the DV should consider the need to show measurements in both metric and imperial terms, for ease of comparison and to avoid confusion should the claimant or his/her expert witness quote evidence in terms of measurement different from the DV. If a single, metric, mode of measurement can be agreed in advance, only this need be shown.
If the DV has doubts whether or not any document would be admissible as evidence he/she should consult and follow the advice of the HMRC Solicitor and CEO (DVS).
Copy documents will be needed for each of the following: the Registrar, each of the parties, the HMRC Solicitor, counsel (if used) and CEO (DVS). In cases of doubt the HMRC Solicitor will advise on the number of copies required. Provided that the witness, who will be giving the evidence to which the documents and exhibits relate is clearly identifiable, e.g. by reference DV1 etc and the headings to the documents, it is not normally necessary for the witness to sign any of the documents other than the valuation.
Expert witness report
The expert witness report should be signed and dated by the witness.
Schedules of comparable properties
Adequate particulars must be provided to enable the LT and the parties to identify comparable properties. Each property in the schedule should have a reference number, which enables it to be readily identified on a location map. It might be desirable to distinguish market transactions from settlements by a simple colour code.
Where relevant, plans showing the internal layout of buildings should be provided and cross-referenced to the schedule.
The names of parties on PDs/SDLT1 forms and the identity of taxpayers involved in settlements should not be included in the schedule. For ease of comparison the property the subject of the reference should normally be shown as the first item of the schedule and the valuation must be analysed in the same way as the comparable evidence. Please note parties’ consent is not normally required for transactions with a completion date on or after 1 April 2000 (see CGT Manual Practice Note 4 Appendix A).
Comparables should not be included where disclosure consent has not been granted.
Maps and plans
Each plan, map or line drawing, should be checked by the witness on the ground. The plan, map or drawing should be to an appropriate scale, which should be clearly stated. The north point should be shown, properly located.
The size of the map or plan should be appropriate for its purpose; overlarge plans should be avoided where practicable. Plans should be folded and not rolled.
Any photograph should be mounted and a short description and the date and time it was taken should be written on the mount. The viewpoint of the photograph should be indicated on a map by reference to its number and its direction shown by an arrow.
Photographs are not normally required by the LT to be formally proved. Nevertheless the photographer may exceptionally be required to attend the hearing to prove the photographs and should be made aware of this possibility.