Land valuation objection appeals - what you need to know NOW

The time for Queensland property owners to lodge an objection against their Annual Freehold Land Valuations from the Valuer-General has now passed, but there may still be grounds for those who lodged unsuccessful objections to take further action by appealing any decision of the Valuer General.

The Annual Freehold Land Valuations are issued by the Valuer-General’s office each year. Property owners have 60 days from the date of issue to lodge an objection if they disagree with the value placed on their property.

Once an objection has been lodged and a decision made by the Valuer General on that objection, landowners may still have recourse to appeal an unfavourable decision on the value of their property. The key matters which property owners should take into consideration include:

  • Whether the objection was based on reasonable grounds and supported by good evidence;

  • A recent Land Appeal Court of Queensland decision where Dalton J claimed the Valuer-General “places too much emphasis on its systems and pays too little heed to the provision of the (LVA) Act” (Land Appeal Court of Queensland Valuer-General –v- Suncorp Metway Insurance Pty Limited [2018] QLAC 6); and

  • The recent introduction of another new system (computer-based) by the Valuer-General, which attempts to achieve relativity for valuations of properties in certain areas.

Over the past few months, I have spoken with a number of valuers about the new computerised system, which was designed to create parity in property valuations and yet it is, in fact, creating significant anomalies.

These anomalies are, in some cases, creating stark differences between values of comparable properties without explanation or reason.

This increases the scope for property valuations to potentially not be truly reflective of the individual property and the area it is located in. This is not to suggest that every valuation is incorrect. It is those which are not that are cause for concern for the property owner.

Excessive site valuations issued by the Valuer General based upon faulty data means the property owner may well incur significant increases in rates and land tax being assessed in respect to your property.

For this reason, we encourage property owners in Queensland who have received a decision on any objection that they have made to consider whether that decision should be appealed.

If your objection has been dismissed by the Valuer-General, especially on the ground of relativity and your objection was based on reasonable grounds and supported by good evidence, there is a chance you have grounds to appeal the decision of the Valuer General.

Strict timeframes apply to Appeals, which must be lodged within 60 days of the Valuer-General’s decision. If you fail to Appeal within this timeframe, you won’t get another opportunity to object until 2020.

Daniel Lilley

Special Counsel

Hillhouse Legal Partners