Negligence claim against an architect
If you wish to bring a negligence claim against an architect and would like to know whether you are entitled to compensation, then contact our free legal helpline by calling 0333 888 0403 or sending brief details of your case to us at [email protected]
As professional negligence solicitors, we receive a huge number of enquiries about claims against surveyors and builders. It is less common for us to be asked to bring a negligence claim against an architect, when these cases do arise the financial loss suffered is frequently significant.
In one recent case, our client had wanted to invest in some property, either as a buy-to-let, or to flip it. However, he saw that a piece of land was coming up for auction which had planning permission to build a two bedroom property on it. The planning permission was very clear on what would be required, setting out what rooms each floor must have. Furthermore, it was very clear that no enlargement or alteration to the proposed property or the height of its roof could be undertaken without specific permission from the local authority.
As this was a new venture, our client contacted an architect and asked for his opinion, giving the architect a copy of the planning permission. The architect assured him that he had suitable experience on similar projects and immediately suggested that a third bedroom could be put in the loft, thereby increasing the value of the house. The architect prepared the necessary plans and lodged them with the local authority. However, he didn’t send them to the planning department, but to Building Control to confirm that the build would comply with building regulations. The plans were passed.
The property was constructed according to the new plans, but just before the roof was due to go on a Planning Officer visited the property and concluded that there had been a breach of planning consent. This resulted in our client being required to strip the building back to first floor level and reconstruct it in accordance with the original planning consent.
Needless to say, this work caused our client to incur considerable additional costs, so we were consulted to bring a negligence claim for compensation based on those financial losses.
The architect denied that he was at fault. He claimed that he had not seen the planning permission, and even if he had, it was not his responsibility to check the terms of the consent. He later went on to argue that he had not actually been employed by our client, so there was no contractual relationship. None of these defences were credible and we succeeded in winning the claim.
So, if you have lost out as a result of an architect’s negligence and want to know if you are entitled to compensation then contact our free legal helpline. Call 0333 888 0403 or send brief details of your case to us at [email protected]