Allotment garden

Allotment gardens – garden expert Thomas Bauer

Allotment (“Victory”) gardens, community gardens, graveyard gardens & cemetery plots, and railway adjacent agricultural parcels/tracts.

Expert reports

Expert opinions are usually structured in the following manner: after a description of the issue, the general technical and legal basis is discussed, followed by fact-finding and documentation, as well as a technical assessment, and then concluding with the expert’s opinion.

A distinction can be made between:

  • Private reports & appraisals
  • Legal reports & appraisals
  • Insurance reports & appraisals
  • Other types of report(s) / appraisals

Private reports can ask if there are deficiencies in accordance with garden regulations (examples like insufficient allotment lands, wilderness, etc.), as well as answer the question of how a possible deficiency can be remedied.

Often private reports are evidence preservation documents that present a site situation and explain the necessary corrective measures. In these types of reports, the focus is on documentation, professional assessment, and advice. As part of the consultation, additional technical aspects pertinent to the situation may be identified.

Judicial reports and appraisals are commissioned by the courts in the context of a legal dispute. With these, the expert must adhere exactly to the questions raised by the law (i.e. pertaining to evidence for the ruling). The expert appraiser does not introduce new aspects; rather he maintains the narrow legal focus, even if additional technical information is available.

To substantiate the legal issues of the dispute, evidence is gathered at an on-site meeting.

The disputing parties receive their legal reports from the court through their lawyers. Additional aspects not listed in the legal decision can then be brought into the process through appropriate legal representation.

Insurance reports can be commissioned by both the insurance company and the injured party. It is always advisable to have damages assessed by a publicly appointed and sworn expert appraiser. Publicly appointed and sworn appraisers are often commissioned by insurance companies, especially in the case of larger damages.

After a damaging event, it must first be clarified which insurance is responsible and who is hiring the expert. In the event of fire damage to allotment arbors, the insurance company usually commissions the expert.

“Other” types of reports fall under a collective umbrella for a large number of relevantly dissimilar types of documentation, assessments, appraisals, and written reports.

Lawyers, allotment garden organizations, cities, and landlords commission expert opinions and appraisals on new and/or emergent issues in order to secure technically flawless approaches from the outset.

Basic reports on elementary problems also fall under this category:  for example, the calculation of administrative fees in allotment gardening based on theoretical case constellations. Legal appraisals, i.e. the professional review and evaluation of reports, securing evidence or statements that have been prepared by other experts or companies, are of great value for the client and are also applicable here.

Furthermore, long-term contracts for control, monitoring of objectives or the course of damages should be mentioned. In this context, projects with an existing garden issue (e.g. an allotment plot problem) are rectified with expert assistance.

Preservation of evidence

Preservation of evidence is important in two categories:
private preservation of evidence and judicial preservation of evidence.

For example, before construction work is carried out, private evidence is saved to record the condition of plantings and buildings. In the event of damage (damage to or death of plants), evidence can then be provided that the damage is attributable to the construction project.

Documentation of conditions may also be necessary in the context of private law agreements or for comparison purposes.

Judicial preservation of evidence is commissioned in the context of legal disputes that are to go to court or are already being negotiated in court.

The court selects a publicly appointed and sworn expert who can answer the questions due to specialist knowledge being the basis of his appointment.

In this context, it should be noted that the selected expert is also responsible for the questions. For questions about allotment gardens, a sworn allotment garden expert should therefore be selected by the courts.  An alternative type of expert who has been sworn in for a green subject such as tree care, agriculture, etc., can be rejected by one or both parties.

As a rule, an on-site meeting with the disputing parties and their legal representatives is held to deal with necessary services like plant control, small repairs, overhangs and the like. The on-site meeting also provides an appropriate time to complete the necessary measurements and gathering of data for an evidence preservation expert opinion.

After the on-site visit, the evidence will be sent to the court so that the court can forward the copies to the parties impartially.

Due to the preservation of evidence in the report, further questions can arise. These new issues are then passed by court to the expert for an answer.

Acceptance & Compliance according to the Federal Allotment Garden Act

Controls and approvals are reliable instruments to ensure compliance to the regulations of the Federal Allotment Garden Act and the Garden Regulations and when properly implemented, prevent errors.

In practice, the mere presence of the expert in the allotment garden, or the announcement that an expert will make a helpful visit unannounced, ensures the tenants adhere to the existing rules.

Appraisals

For different reasons, the valuation of Allotment (“Victory”) gardens, community gardens, graveyard gardens & cemetery plots, and railway adjacent agricultural parcels/tracts can be helpful:

1. Valuation according to valuation guidelines

If the allotment garden (lease) has been terminated, a reasonable amount is to be compensated. The compensation value, sometimes also called the purchase price for the allotment garden, depends on the valuation guidelines of the relevant federal state. For allotment gardens in Bavaria, the guidelines of the Landesverband Bayerischer Kleingärtner e.V. are used.

The guidelines are approved by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior in agreement with the Bavarian State Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forests and the Bavarian State Ministry for Regional Development and Environmental Issues; these are published in their respective versions in the Bavarian Official Gazette. The publisher is the LBK.

These guidelines are intended to guarantee a socially balanced valuation result and a garden handover that is fair to all parties which prefers neither a departing nor a subsequent tenant. In practice, the evaluation guidelines have established themselves over many years as a uniform and binding agreement on the financial regulation of the garden handover (Bavarian allotment gardener 6/2007).

Colloquially in allotment gardening, people often talk about having the allotment garden or rented/leased plot garden valued. This involves an appraisal of the parcel so that the allotment garden, small lease garden, graveyard / cemetery plot garden, etc. are sold after the completion of an appraisal by a certified appraiser. In fact, the allotment garden associations or organizations allocate the plot in accordance with the regulations for gardening.

2. Valuations in accordance with Section 11 of the Federal Allotment Garden Act

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that interventions into allotment garden lands occur. These interventions may be necessary due to road construction, maintenance or relocation of supply lines, the creation of flood protection, remediation of contaminated sites or relocation of the allotment garden for other reasons. Allotment gardens and small garden parcels enjoy special protection due to the Federal Allotment Garden Act.

In the context of terminations of allotment garden parcels, the gardeners are entitled to expropriation compensation according to the Federal Allotment Garden Act § 11, which provides for a higher amount of compensation. In these cases, the valuation is usually based on the modified Koch method.

Do you have any questions or would you like an offer?

Then call me at
Tel. Augsburg (headquarters): +49 (0) 821 66 104 85
Tel.: +49 (0) 8161 976 9746
Mobile: +49 (0) 179 666 4881
or write an email to: info@gartenbewertung.de
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