The Association of Valuers of Licensed Property is the leading body of such specialist advice in the United Kingdom.
The Association was founded in 1894 by John Fleuret, in order to bring about an association of like-minded, experienced valuers to ensure that tenants received or paid fair dues on changes. In its early days the vast majority of members were only ever involved in brokerage and tenancy changes and most of the brewers, who in those days took a benevolent paternal interest, would only allow their tenants to be represented by members of the AVLP.
Over the years, as the nature of the licensed trade has changed, particularly since the MMC report in 1990, the traditional tenancy has declined in numbers with more and more brewers and pubcos going down the lease route.
Likewise, the Association has changed and, with over 100 members, now represents licensed property valuers on a nationwide basis. Some of the members deal with tenancy changes and lettings whilst others are specialist chattels and public house valuers, rating surveyors and members of firms dealing with rental, capital and bank valuations, corporate asset valuations and the sales of freehold and leasehold licensed premises.
Although the Association does not set examinations for those who wish to join, it maintains its high standards by vetting closely the applications from those who wish to become members. The Rules of the Association closely follow those of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (in fact, many of the members are chartered surveyors), so ensuring the best codes of conduct with regard to matters such as conflicts of interest, separate client bank accounts, a scheme of mandatory professional indemnity insurance etc. In addition, anyone wishing to join must show that they have been in practice as a qualified auctioneer or valuer for at least five years or for the two years preceding the application, must have been an equity partner/director of a firm of auctioneers or valuers.
The industry needs the Association as much today as it did 100 years ago. Its members continue to promote the interests of individual tenants/ lessees, multiple landlords and owner operators throughout the UK as there is a need to maintain some sort of consistency in both professional standards and the approach to the valuation of licensed premises in a rapidly changing market. It is a well structured and self policing association with strict disciplinary rules supporting and maintaining high standards of professionalism.
In the same way that a holidaymaker has protection with an ABTA bonded travel agent, a client using the services of an AVLP member is protected in the unlikely event of the valuer being deemed negligent. Also, the client needs to be sure that any monies paid to the valuer or agent at, say, a tenancy change, will be kept in a separate clients’ account rather than mixed with the valuers own money, so that even if there were to be problems with the valuers’ own business the clients money would be safe (solicitors are governed in a similar way by the rules of the Law Society).
The majority of AVLP members spend 100% of their working time involved in the various aspects of licensed property valuation. It is from this dedication of dealing with many transactions that the valuers experience and knowledge of comparable evidence provides the means of accurately assessing the market.
For valuation advice do go to an experienced valuer and make sure that they have separate accounts for business and clients and, of course, that they have professional indemnity insurance. Retaining the services of a member of the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property ensures peace of mind and that your best interests are looked after.