Licensed Valuers & Property Valuation Consultants, Perth, Western Australia
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Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2020 in by Matt Garmony

API Non-Inspection of Properties due to COVID-19 Restrictions

API Valuatio Protocol COVID-19

Purpose of this protocol

This protocol deals with valuations, undertaken by Australian Property Institute (API) members where, during a time of an API declared crisis and/or state of emergency, a full (physical or personal) inspection of the property cannot be undertaken. The protocol outlines guidelines that the Valuer may follow in order to correctly identify the property being valued and to collect property specific information for Non-Inspection of Properties due to COVID-19 Restrictions.

For absolute understanding, for the time period prescribed by the API, the Valuer is required to undertake the most appropriate valuation inspection or research possible, taking into account Government restrictions and Health and Safety matters outlined in this Protocol, whilst encouraging both high standards and innovation.

  1. Acceptable practices in lieu of Full Physical Inspection – Residential Property

The Valuer should adhere to the following proposed hierarchy of alternate practices, where practicable:

  • Full inspection utilising the range of resources;
  • A full external street frontage inspection of the property, which may include but is not limited to a complete walk-around of the main building and ancillary improvements.
  • A partial external inspection of the property for areas that are assessable but at a minimum from the road frontage. This may be conducted from the vehicle to avoid face to face contact and/or maintain social distancing stipulations.
  • Virtual external inspection of the property utilising satellite imagery and/or video conferencing technology. Note, in these instances the technology must include geo-positioning capabilities or similar that enables confirmation the correct property has been identified. Valuers must at all times comply with relevant regulatory and local laws (for eg. CASA) in respect of Drones and other tools.
  • Virtual internal Inspection that may include contribution of information from the owner/occupier/third party
  • Without Owner/Occupant/Third Party information provision but a phone call to the owner/occupier/third party and other research necessary to form an opinion as to value.
  1. Acceptable practices in lieu of Full Physical Inspection – Commercial & Other Property

In the case of commercial and all other property categories, where physical access is restricted or limited, the valuation may be completed acknowledging a ‘Restricted or Limited Access Inspection’ has occurred and the valuer should include qualifying statements to that effect. Should the property be able to be physically inspected within 90 days, a Compliance Letter is to be provided and include a confirmation of assessed value (as at the date of the report), confirmation of the assumptions made in the original indicative market assessment, date of physical inspection undertaken, photographic evidence, time date stamped. Should the property not be able to be physically re-inspected, then it is the prerogative of the Instructing Party/Client to arrange for a re-instruction at a later date.

Within any Residential, Commercial or other Property Report (and the Compliance Letter) the Valuer should confirm that all due diligence, research and analysis that would ordinarily form part of a full valuation has been completed, with the exception of the formal physical or personal inspection and other comments regarding inspection parameters as outlined above.

Alternate and Additional Resources

In the absence of a full physical inspection, the extent to which a Valuer may investigate and confirm property details via alternate and additional resources should be determined by the Valuer in their absolute discretion, but could include the following, with corresponding comments included in the report/advice:

  • Alternative inspection used, such as virtual or video feeds etc. either by the Valuer or an identified Third Party (owner, occupier, property manager or tenant)
  • Sources to identify the subject property, could include but are not limited to:

o Access to street view.

o Access to aerial photography with building measurements

o Local Authority and other websites and portals

o GPS positioning of the video devise in the property to allow longitude/latitude matching with the National GNAF database

o Viewing aerial or satellite images, drone footage and/or a web search of the address. Valuers must at all times comply with relevant regulatory and local laws (for eg. CASA) in respect of Drone and other tools.

  • Photographic evidence sourced from the web (e.g. real estate portals).

For more information on Non-Inspection of Properties due to COVID-19 Restrictions, please do not hesitate to contact one of our licensed valuers or property valuation admin staff by phone or by clicking here.