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LOCAL POLICE COURTS. .-

CARMARTHEN BOROUGH

AMMANFORD

LLANDEBIE

LLANWENOG

PENCADER

TALYBONT (CARD.)

PENYGROES

NEW QUAY

BURRY PORT

NEWCASTLE EMLYN

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Mr. ThomasâYou are going into tha Public I Healths Act now (laughter). Continuing his case, he said that according to law, a house must be valued in its existing state, and in the parish to which it belongs. Suppose he transplanted his house to London, ho would get five or six times as much for it. In addition to the houses he had mentioned, Redholm, occupied by Mr. Ham, was assessed at £ 33 gross, and Llwvnon. in the occupation of Mr. W. N. Evans, at £,33 gross. Some of the houses he had mentioned had five bedrooms and an attic. Appellant had three bedroms, a box-room, and no attic. Mr. Spurrell wished to know the total number of rooms, as some of the rooms, not described as bed- rooms, might be used as such. Mr. Thomas said that that was not so. He had given them all the possible sleeping accommodation, the smallness of which was the great objection to the house, as were it put into the open market, the hrst question wouki be about the bedrooms. He had tried to let it but had failed. In addition to the other benefits enumerated he had a delightful view and an ever-changing panorama running from Ringer's Tobacco to Coleman's Starch (laughter). He did not know whether that added to the value of the property or not. It was true he had the benefit of a private road, but he had to pay heavily for its upkeep, and altogether it was a very dear benefit. With his present assessment, if he wished to let his house, taking into account the rates and taxes, the rent would tot up to j650 to J658 per annum, and from his experience of trying to let the house it was far too much. He had advertised the house to be let, but could only let it if he put in another bedroom which would mean an expenditure of about £100 to £120. and that would increase the valuation. The neighbouring houses had more bed- rooms than he did. If he wanted to let his house at present he would be restricted to a peculiar kind of tenant, either an old maid, or a bachelor, or a couple with no family like himself (laughter). His house was sO snyill one could go over it in three minutes (laughter). Mf. Rjaes Davies, contractor and builder, St. Catherine-street, who had built Llwynon. Epworth, and Redholm, said that in his opinion, after seeing the plans of all the houses, Redholm was a better house for letting purposes than either Ardwyn 0" Ty Hawddgar. Redholm had a drawing-room, dining-room, morning-room, scullery. five bedrooms, and a spacious attic. With the exception of the attic, Llwynon was the same kind of house as Red- holm. Ardwyn and Ty Hawddgar were similarly built houses, and had corresponding rooms. There were three bedroms and a small room without a fireplace, called on the plan a dressing-room, which might be turned into a bedroom. This room in Ty Hawddgar was 10ft. by 8ft. and in Ardwyn 10ft. 6in. by 9ft. In witness's opinion Ardwyn was a better letting house. Cross-eta mined by Mr. ProsserâIn witness's opinion the value of house property in Penllwyn Park had not gone up during the last 8 or 10 years. Witness had sold Llwynon for J6750. and a short time ago it was again sold for J3700. It had de- preciated 10 years since it had been built. In witness's opinion the present ratable value of Ty Hawddgar should be £32. itness had been an overseer in1007-it was an unpleasant and thankless jobâand admitted his signature in the assessment book, assessing Ty Hawddgar at £35, Mr. ProsserâDid you go over the property at that time?âNo. Then why did you sign the book if you had not seen it 'âI don't remember, but I suppose the others thought it should be put at that sum. A MagistrateâIs fc usual at meetings of the overseers for them to be of different opinions with regard to assessments-'âYes. I gave my opinion against it, but I don't remember what happened. Cross-examination conrinucd- "ïtness expected to get 4 per cent. interest on his outlay in house property. He would be quite content with that. Wit ness did not know how much the appellant gave for his house. Mr. Thomas-£950; you need not be threatening about it (laughter). Witness said he would not give j3950 foi; the house. If he let it he would expect 4 per cent. on it. He did not know that Ty Hawddgar was prob- ably one of the most substantially built houses in Carmarthen, or that there was a coating of liquid tar between the walls to keep out the damp. He had been told so. In his opinion there was more accommodation at the back of Ty Hawddgar than at the back of Ardwyn. The plans which he was consulting were those which had been deposited with the Borough Surveyor, who had lent them to the appellant. Witness did not know that Ty Hawddgar cost £1.2GD to build, and that Ardwyn cost JB700 to build. Mr. ThomasâWhen I bought the house I was told that it cost £1,800. In answer to the Bench, witness said that he could not think of any single respect in which Ty Hawddgar was superior to Ardwyn. In his opinion the tar in the walls would not make any difference to the letting, as a person would have to" take what he was told. In most houses there was a three- inch cavity between the walls, and the idea of the tar was to make the walls damp-proof. Although Mr. Thomas paid JE950 for Ty Hawddgar, witness did not think it was worth that. He was willing to build a house exactly like it for JB800. He was prepared to sign a contract to that effect that day (laughter). A Magistrate-With all the gold that is between the stones? (laughter). Mr. Prosser, for the,respondents, said that the assessment of the borough had caused a great deal of trouble to the overseers and a lot of anxiety to the ratepayers. The assessment was no haphazard things but the overseers had gone over the borough in a most thorough and systematic manner, and put what valuation they thought best on the houses. The result in the general, rat en was that the assessments had gone up by £2,000, and the rates would, consequently, be considerably reduced. It was only a few shillings difference in that they were fighting about that morning. They had not picked out Mr. Thomas's house more than that of anyone else, and there were gentlemen on the bench that day whose assessments had gone up B10 or £15.Ir. Rees Davies had said he was quite satisfied with 4 per cent. return on his outlay, but by a case decided in the courts. Five per cent. was recognised as being the percentage in the case of people living in their own houses. The Bench had not only to take into account the number of bedrooms, etc., but all the conveniences in Penllwyn Park, such as the private road, etc. He (Mr. Prosser) contended that Tv Hawddgar was not a pair house to Ardwvn, but was a more substantially built house, and had always been rated at more than Ardwyn. The very fact that Mr. Thomasâshrewd manâhad given J6950 for it was some criterion. It was impossible for even an expert to fix the exact value of a house, but he asked the Bench to say that the valuation was substantially correct within a pound or two and to dismiss the appeal. With "regard to the plans, he wished to say that when he applied to the Surveyor to see them he was told that he could not do so, and he now found that Mr. Rees Davies had them. Thomas, in reply, said that had he wished he could have subpoenaed that Surveyor to bring the plans there, but as he did not wish to do that he had borrowed them, giving his written undertaking that they should be returned safely. He did not want the Surveyor to be blamed. The Guardians had had plenty of time to see the plans had they wished to do so. The theory of valuation which Mi". Prosser had put forward was that known as the ''Contractor's theory," which only applied to public buildings, such as town halls, police-stations, etc., and buildings not usually let for a rent. The theory to be applied to house property was that of the -hypothetical tenant," or the rent which an owner ought reasonably to expect to get from a tenant He submitted that on the evidence the appeal should be allowed. The Bench, after deliberating for some time in prnate. decided to reduce the assessment to £35, and allowed the appellant costs. The court then rose.