Oct 10, 2018 - 12:02 PM
2017-17: RECORD KEEPING RULE
Workfiles Affected by a Natural Disaster
My appraisal workfiles were recently damaged due to a natural disaster. I am salvaging what I can but will likely have to discard many. What does USPAP require in this situation?
USPAP requires that workfiles be retained “for a period of at least five years after preparation or at least two years after final disposition of any judicial proceeding in which the appraiser provided testimony related to the assignment, whichever period expires last.” If the workfiles are older than the prescribed period, then there is no USPAP violation in discarding them.
However, if the natural disaster has destroyed workfiles that must be retained, a real property appraiser is advised to contact the applicable state appraiser regulatory agency to see if they have any guidance on what steps to take to document the loss.
Storing workfiles and electronic copies off site, and implementing a system of regular backups may serve to minimize future risk.