Valuation of old R.C.C. Buildings
It is observed in the case of some multi-storeyed R. C. C. buildings that even a couple of floors are unauthorised. They are constructed on the top existing floors, without bothering about the heavy extra load transmitted to the lower columns.
Normally R.C.C. buildings are supposed to have a useful life of over 80 years, but many buildings show the sings of distress and structural defects after about 15 years of the construction or many a times even before that. The common reasons for this are use of inferior construction materials, improper workmanship, poor maintenance, overloading, alterations for renovation (disturbing structural stability), weathering effect and seepage from terrace and leakage from faulty water connections, etc. The results are peeling off plaster, broken effect and seepage from terrace and leakage from faulty water connections, etc. The results are peeling off plaster, broken concrete cover, steel bars, exposed, corroded or even broken and deep cracks in structural members, etc. These structural defects, if not attended to immediately, would reduce the life of the building considerably.
Similarly, while carrying out the valuation, if the dilapidated condition and remaining life of the buildings is not considered properly and if the market rate is fixed only from available data of sales and purchases, the calculated value of the property would be very misleading and the agency granting the loan on the premises would be in trouble, if the building collapses before repayment of loan. It is observed in the case of some multi-storeyed R.C.C. buildings that even a couple of floors are unauthorised. They are constructed on the top existing floors, without bothering about the heavy extra load transmitted to the lower columns and foundation and as indicated, some such buildings have collapsed, just like a pack of cards within a few years after their construction.
It is, therefore, essential on the part of a valuer to verify whether all the floors in the building are authorised and the building is safe as a whole, even when it is required to find the market value of only one flat or office in that building. In case of a doubt it is proposed that the client be asked to obtain a certificate from an experienced structural engineer, for structural stability of the building, before deciding its remaining life and hence, the market value.
In the same way, when a person purchases new premises, he generally makes the changes in the premises, as per the wishes of the family or as directed by interior designer. There is nothing wrong in it, so far as the structural systems, because of which the buildings as a whole is stable and safe, are not disturbed. The “Vastu Shastra” is fully respected, but when so called Vastu experts ask their unhappy clients to make modifications in the existing premises which would weaken the structural safety of the building and when the client, in turn accepts them to become happy; and when the inferior contractor, good otherwise, but if lacking in the basic knowledge of the structural behaviour of R.C.C. buildings, carries out such changes, the life of the building is reduced. It is the utmost responsibility of the valuer to ascertain the remaining life of such premises, rather than giving importance only to the amount spent in the interior work, to arrive at the fair and reasonable value.