2020-02-17
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Professional negligence claims against surveyors

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Posted by Susan Hopcraft on 08 April 2013

Susan Hopcraft Partner

When you ask a surveyor to value or assess a property you need them to tell you the full story. If they don't and the property is not what you thought, due to any number of different defects, then it is likely to be worth less. 

Or if they are careless in the valuation opinion that they provide then this can also leave you with greater financial exposure than you expected.

Recent examples of cases where we have acted - for clients nationwide - include:

  • Recovery of significant damages when a valuer negligently undervalued a property for a matrimonial financial settlement.
  • A claim against a surveyor who was negligent when surveying residential property. The surveyor omitted to advice that the property was made of pre-reinforced concrete and therefore not mortgageable. This claim was valued at around £100k.
  • Advising individuals where over valuations caused them to take on loans that they would not otherwise have considered.
  • Several claims for lenders where negligently high valuations resulted in mortgage advances being made where, properly valued, the loans would not have been made at these levels (or at all). We advise on portfolio and single loans.
  • Successful mediation to recover high percentage of losses from negligent overvaluations of a portfolio of six properties. 

Funding

We have many funding options available to both our business and individual clients who have a claim against a surveyor or valuation surveyor. These include, no win no fee which is where you are only liable for our costs if we win. We can offer you flexibility in the form of discounted fees and after the event insurance. We will discuss all of your funding options with you as part of our initial consultation.

Time limits

If you have suffered a financial loss by a negligent surveyor or valuer, you will need to be aware of the time limits that apply to bringing a claim. You generally have six years from when the damage or negligent advice occurred, this can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint so it is important you contact us quickly if you have suffered a loss. On the whole surveyors have insurance to financially protect them for damage caused by their negligence, it is important to have time to assess their level of cover as part of the claim process.

Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol

When choosing a solicitor for any professional negligence case it is important they have a thorough understanding of the Pre-Action Protocol as it should be used in all professional negligence cases where there is no other specific protocol that applies. It is designed to encourage an early exchange of information and consider alternative methods of dispute resolution, with a view to promote the settlement of disputes without the need to issue court proceedings. 

About the author

Susan is a disputes and professional negligence lawyer, mainly in the financial services sector.

Susan Hopcraft

Susan is a disputes and professional negligence lawyer, mainly in the financial services sector.

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