(a) Any person offering to redeem must pay to the then holder of the legal title the value of all permanent improvements made on the land since the sale, and if the holder of the legal title cannot be ascertained, payment may be made to the circuit court of the county having jurisdiction of the subject matter when the complaint is filed to redeem. In response to written demand made under Section 6-5-252, the then holder of the legal title shall, within 10 days from the receipt of such demand, furnish the proposed redemptioner with the amount claimed as the value of such permanent improvements; and within 10 days after receipt of such response, the proposed redemptioner either shall accept the value so stated by the then holder of the legal title or, disagreeing therewith, shall appoint a referee to ascertain the value of such permanent improvements and in writing notify the then holder of the legal title of his or her disagreement and of the fact and name of the referee appointed by him or her. Within 10 days after the receipt of such notice, the then holder of the legal title shall appoint a referee to ascertain the value of the permanent improvements and advise the proposed redemptioner of the name of the appointee. The two referees shall, within 10 days after the then holder of the legal title has appointed his or her referee, meet and confer upon the award to be made by them. If they cannot agree, the referees shall at once appoint an umpire, and the award by a majority of such body shall be made within 10 days after the appointment of the umpire and shall be final between the parties.
(b) If a person offering to redeem fails or refuses to nominate a referee as provided in subsection (a) of this section, he or she must pay the value put upon the improvements by the then holder of the legal title. If the then holder of the legal title fails or refuses to appoint a referee, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the then holder of the legal title shall forfeit his or her claim to compensation for such improvements. The failure of the referees, or either of them, to act or to appoint an umpire shall not operate to impair or to forfeit the right of either the proposed redemptioner or of the then holder of the legal title in the premises; and, in the event of failure without fault of the parties to effect an award, the appropriate court shall proceed to ascertain the true value of such permanent improvements and enforce the redemption accordingly.