Making a negligence claim against a surveyor
A surveyor's duty of care
The extent of the duty of care owed by the surveyor will vary from case to case and the nature of the survey or service that has been provided.
When considering whether there has been surveyor negligence in relation to a survey we focus initially on the type of report that has been provided to the client.
Full structural surveys
The most detailed property report is a full structural survey. These are the most expensive surveys and the highest standard is expected from surveyors preparing these reports.
The least detailed report is a simple mortgage valuation. These reports usually contain very little information relating to the structure and condition of the property, and consequently the chances that the surveyor has breached his duty of care (and that there is an actionable surveyors negligence claim) is less likely. Nevertheless surveyors do get mortgage valuations wrong and we have successfully recovered compensation for our clients in these cases.
Home Buyers Reports
Sitting between the simple mortgage valuation and the full structural survey is the Home Buyers Report. This is not as detailed as the full structural survey, but they are nevertheless comprehensive documents which often give rise to surveyors negligence claims.
The role of expert evidence in surveyors negligence claims
Whatever type of survey was provided, most surveyors negligence claims will require some form of evidence from an independent surveyor. Professional negligence solicitors call this 'expert evidence' and it is particularly important in surveyors compensation claims. We are highly experienced in dealing with expert witnesses and are able to locate top quality experts throughout the UK.
Negligent surveyor valuations
Surveyors negligence claims are also made where the surveyor has got the property valuation wrong. Whenever the housing market is depressed we see a rise in the number of surveyor/valuer compensation claims being made by home owners looking to recover crippling losses they have incurred from transactions that were made at the height of the property boom. Surveyors and valuers are allowed a certain amount of leeway when valuing a property; after all, valuation is not an exact science. However, if the valuation is very wide of the mark then a surveyor negligence claim can be considered. Each case is different and we are always happy to provide a free assessment of any potential surveyors negligence or valuers negligence claim.
The relationship between the surveyor and their client
One argument that is often used by surveyors to avoid liability in a compensation claim is to say that if they were instructed by a mortgage lender then the client does not have a direct contract and therefore cannot make a negligence claim.
However, this is not correct. For more than 20 years the courts have regularly agreed that a consumer is entitled to bring a surveyors negligence claim, even where they did not instruct the surveyor direct. Accordingly, we stand firm whenever this “defence” is raised by lawyers representing the negligent surveyor, and we have enjoyed great success over the years in recovering compensation for our clients.
How we can help with your surveyor negligence claim
So, if you think your surveyor has missed a defect, overvalued a property or provided an inaccurate survey and you wish to make a surveyors negligence claim then call us now on 0808 139 1595 for a free initial case assessment and details of our No Win - No Fee funding options.
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