B-236283, Oct 12, 1989

B-236283: Oct 12, 1989

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CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Residence transaction expenses - Reimbursement - Eligibility - Lot sales A transferred employee who divides his property into two parcels may not be reimbursed for losses incurred in the preparation for sale of the parcel that was not reasonably related to his residence. Holroyd may be reimbursed the costs of subdividing his 10 acres of property when he was transferred in 1988. He was advised that the relocation services contractor would sell his house and only 5 acres. Since a determination was made that the other 5 acres were not reasonably related to his residence. 245.07 incurred were primarily to prepare the excess 5-acre parcel for sale as a separate lot.

B-236283, Oct 12, 1989

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - Relocation - Residence transaction expenses - Reimbursement - Eligibility - Lot sales A transferred employee who divides his property into two parcels may not be reimbursed for losses incurred in the preparation for sale of the parcel that was not reasonably related to his residence.

Edmond M. Holroyd III:

The Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, asks whether Mr. Holroyd may be reimbursed the costs of subdividing his 10 acres of property when he was transferred in 1988. He was advised that the relocation services contractor would sell his house and only 5 acres, since a determination was made that the other 5 acres were not reasonably related to his residence. See Federal Travel Regulations, para. 2-6.1f (Supp. 4, Aug. 23, 1982), incorp. by ref., 41 C.F.R. Sec. 101-7.003 (1987). The expenses of $4,245.07 incurred were primarily to prepare the excess 5-acre parcel for sale as a separate lot.

Determinations of excess property, based on expert opinion, are not overturned unless they are clearly erroneous. Daniel J. Totheroh, B-204046, Aug. 27, 1981; William C. Sloane, B-190607, Feb. 9, 1978. Although Mr. Holroyd presented information supporting his claim that all 10 acres were reasonably related to his residence, he has not shown that the excess-land determination was clearly erroneous. The record contains copies of two Employee Residential Appraisal Reports prepared on Mr. Holroyd's property which indicate that the surrounding neighborhood has homes on 5-acre sites. Also, both reports conclude that subdividing Mr. Holroyd's property into two parcels would make the property more marketable and valuable. Further, where an employee divides property there is a presumption that the parcel not containing the house does not relate to the residence. Richard N. Adair, B-199193, Apr. 22, 1981; Franklin J. Rindt, B-199900, Feb. 10, 1981. Therefore, we conclude that the excess-land determination was proper.