Defects and the valuation of buildings
We garauntee you the following facts related to our services:
- Profession: In developed countries, court experts (Forensic Engineers), belong to the free professions and the elite of the consultancy field, which we also try to achieve in our activities.
- Trustworthiness: We are recorded in the list of expert institutions of the Ministry of Justice for defects and the valuation of property.
- Field of activity: As one of a few, our expert offices (expert institutions) can assess defects in buildings and at the same time also evaluate their cost.
- Experience. For more than 20 years we have been preparing and defending appraisals of complex cases for both Czech and international courts and arbitration processes.
- Quality: Every appraisal is checked at least three times and by two of our employees.
- Precision: Every written report is sent to the client before it is completed and defined in more detail, usually in cooperation with the client‘s lawyer, which often takes more time than the preparation of the actual report.
- Equipment: We continually invest into measurement devices and into the equipping of our office.
- Expertise: At Czech courts our appraisals are usually the final material for a courts decision. Our work also meets international criteria – for instance we have prepared appraisals for arbitration courts in Vienna, Zurich and London.
- Independence: We do not have any other business activities, we do not hold any investment positions related to the appraised property and we are not tied in any way (financially, legally or personally) to other companies. True independence + real expertise = independent expertise.
- History. . The company Jokl Appraisal was founded in 1993 as an association, later it changed into a v.o.s.. In 1998 we were written into the list of expert institutions kept by the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic. Through membership of the British Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and upholding its ethical code we committed to upholding certain values when carrying out our activities. In 2012 we met the new more demanding requirements of the Ministry of Justice for expert institutions.
- Complexity. We supply complex appraisals of buildings, that is from analyses of their technical parameters, through to appraisals of their internal microclimates, to their market valuations (for more detail see Services). We always try for a complex approach even in the sense that, during each property appraisal (in the case of any of our services) we try to percieve all three dimensions of the property: technical, legal and economic.
- Experience. All of our services are provided by an expert with education to at least masters level at university. Our work is guaranteed by the partners of the office, who have at least university education to doctorate level and are leading experts with more than 20 years experience in the given field, who publish books and articles at home and abroad related to property appraisals (for more detail see Qualifications). We regularly prepare appraisals for international clients from Germany, Austria, the USA, England, Russia, Spain, Italy and so on. Our employees systematically raise their expertise through study and participation in expert seminars.
- Sources. We subscribe to several internet periodicals publishing expert articles with an emphasis on construction and property and we have on-line access to all Czech technical standards. We also have an extensive database of our own appraisals and expert publications.
- Quality. When preparing our appraisals we try to be careful with each word and detail of the appraisal. During inspections of the property being appraised we use a wide range of demanding measurement and documentation technology. Our measurement instruments are regularly calibrated in reputable test centres. The appraisals are completed on high quality computers with good anti-virus protection and are printed, including high quality coloured pictures, on top-class laser printers with high level differentiation. Our reports are written such that they can be publically defended before the courts or arbitration disputes. We are thus able to confirm and defend our conclusions even in the case of a public defence before the courts or an arbitrator. Our employees must also meet the requirements for honesty in the wider sense of the word – for we believe that dishonesty leads to a loss of professional self respect and without self respect it is not possible to have respect for clients.
- Independence. Consultancy is our main source of income. This activity provides us with our living and is thus our main interest – our consultancy is not subordinate to another main interest. We do not trade in property, or with anything else, we do not take intermediary commissions from others. We do not have other business activities, we do not hold investment positions related to the property appraised. We are not tied in any way to companies active in the fields of sales or construction: that is with traders in property or financial intermediaries (property, financial or mortgage dealers/agents), developers, architects, designers, project managers, construction companies or building material and technology manufacturers. In the given market where we are active (that is the property market, but also in other fields), we have no side interests. True independence + true expertise = independent expertise.
- Impartiality. Our written reports are objective and do not take the side of any party to a dispute.
- Guarantees. Another aspect, on which we lay great emphasis, is guaranteeing our work. We wanted our ownership structure to be transparent with clearly allocated responsibilities. Because our activity falls under the field of free professions – independent consultants, we did not want to select a legal form for our office under which the partners of the office would not guarantee their work with their personal assets (such as in the case of an s.r.o), or where they would not guarantee it with their names, (for instance in the case of an a.s. where the owners do not have to take part in the performance of activities personally and the company can be owned by individuals who have nothing in common with the given profession and have their own interests – not even the names of the shareholders are easily available to their clients). We thus chose a personal form of carrying out our activity, during which we guarantee our work to our partners with both our names and all our assets. What‘s more, in the case of our company it is a family firm, which means a certain continuity over a longer time frame. In the case of damage, the office‘s property is liable to forfeiture – its basic capital is 2 million Kc. In addition the office has professional indemnity insurance in the case of damage arising in relation to the provision of its services in the amount of 1 million Kc (to date we have never needed to use this insurance).
- Mission. These days, which are described as the information age, it is not such a problem to get certain information – thanks to the internet and other sources – (even though it costs money and time), as much as how to evaluate this information correctly. In order to do this the necessary expertise is required and in addition the necessary independence. We decided to lay emphasis on these two aspects in our office. As we said before, our services are guaranteed by experts who are at the top of their fields. Our independence then guarantees that the expertise is used correctly. We believe that in this way we can contribute to the cultivation of our technical, economic and, through our court expert activity, also the legal environments. The expert comes into contact with important and confidential information related to property and its valuation critically affects the health of the given state.
- Science and art. The market appraisal of property in crisis situations (court/forensic engineering) is regarded as an activity on the dividing line between science and art. By that one wishes to say, that it is not an activity which is exclusively exact or an activity that is exclusively creative. On one hand it is necessary to use common scientific methods (studying, measuring, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction and so on) and to know the theory of appraising property. On the other hand each property (and buildings in particular) is original in its technical, legal and economic characteristics and thus its appraisal is a creative work. Every slip towards the extreme either in the form of exactness or on the other hand creativity leads to incorrect conclusions. And all the while it is necessary to uphold the rule that expertise cannot silence learning, but quite the opposite it must be in agreement with so called ‘‘common sense‘‘ (learning cannot resist common logic). A high quality appraisal can be recognised by the fact that its methods and conclusions are brief and understandable even to a layman.
- Client. Even when maintaining the objectivity or impartiality of our reports we try to facilitate the client: before printing and signing the report we send a provisional version of our report to the client. The client thus firstly has an opportunity to convince themselves that our report has been completed, meets the required quality and that all the questions given were concisely and understandably answered. In addition the client has an opportunity to comment on the provisional version of the report and request that we defend the descriptions of our findings and the conclusions we came to from them including our reasoning. The client, who usually knows the property concerned the best of all parties involved, has thus got a certain possibility to contribute to improving the report‘s quality. This process is not just a formality but often leads to more precise definition or alterations to the report as long as it does not threaten its objectivity and contributes to its improvement. By not giving our clients our reports just in copy, but allowing them a certain chance to oppose our reports we, at the same time declare our openess (the client is not buying a ‘‘hare in a bag‘‘) and show our professional preparedness to defend our work.
- Identity. All of the above listed aspects together create the identity (culture) of our office. Because we promote an optimal internal microclimate in buildings in our publications, we regarded it as a given that these requirements were also met by our own working environment – we installed a so called intelligent management of office operations system including elements monitoring the quality of the internal environment. We also try to support, as sponsors, activities which lead to the renewal of our civilising and national cultural values (our national identity): for instance we support the third Czech translation of the Bible from the original languages or the project to save the rotunda of Saint Vaclav’son Malostranska square in Prague. We also sponsor public institutions – Prague ZOO(Leptopelis uluguruensis).