Surveyors make mistakes, and when a surveyors makes a mistake it can be very costly to the property owner. If a surveyors negligence results in a financial loss to the client, then there is a strong chance that the client could claim for professional negligence.
Professional negligence is when any professional fails to perform their duties or responsibilities to the standard that a client could reasonably expect of them. To prove that a surveyor is responsible of professional negligence, you need to prove that the surveyor:
- had a duty of care to their client
- breached this duty of care
- negligence resulted in financial loss to the client
Examples of Negligent Surveying
Examples of property Surveyor Negligence include:
- Negligent Survey report – Failing to identify defects when surveying land or a property
- Residential valuation – Valuing a property incorrectly (usually overvaluing).
- Commercial valuation – Valuing a commercial property incorrectly.
- Planning claim – Failing to follow planning procedures, resulting in a financial loss.
- Quantity surveying claim – A quantity surveyor over-valued contractor work.
- Expert witness claim – Failing to advise on settlement correctly.
- Building surveying claim – Failing to advise on building work.
- Rent review claim – Failed to proceed with rent review correctly and on time.
- a surveyor failed to advise the client that their property was made of a material that prevented the client obtaining a mortgage.
- a surveyor over-valued a property and the client took on a larger loan than required.
- a surveyor has negligently undervalued a property as part of a divorce settlement, leaving one party significantly out of pocket.
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Do I have a claim?
Like conveyancing negligence, to successfully claim professional negligence, you’ll need to prove that the Surveyor has breached the duty of care, and prove that the breach has caused a financial loss to you, the claimant.
To qualify for a claim you have to check a few things first:
Q: Who instructed the surveyor?
A: If you hired the surveyor, then the surveyor will owe you a duty of care and you can claim against him if they have been negligent. However, if your lender hired the surveyor, you might be unable to bring a claim against him (in some circumstances, surveyors might use contracts that restrict their liability to clients).
Q: Is something wrong with the property?
A: Following a property purchase, if you have found defects or other issues, you will need to check if the defect is a recent issue or a long standing issue.
Q: Was the issue mentioned in the survey report?
A: Was the issue identified by the surveyor? If it was not, then you might have a claim for negligence. Also, if the surveyor did identify the issue, but did not indicate it was serious (and it was serious) then you might have a claim.
How much can I claim?
How much can you claim for surveyor negligence? Well… it all depends on the circumstances.
If you can be prove that a negligent surveyor was responsible for the loss of £30,000 on a property purchase, then the claimant should be entitled to claim £30,000 + extra compensation for personal stress caused.
What evidence is required?
You’ll first need to prove that you are owed a duty of care by gathering evidence that you actually did instruct the surveyor to survey your property. Then, in most cases of surveyor negligence, you’ll need to obtain another report from a different surveyor. They’ll give you a report to identify if the original surveyor was negligent.
Surveyor Negligence claims (like all professional negligence claims) must be brought up within six years of the day on which the negligent happened (the day the survey report was made). If you have only become aware of the claim after 6 years have passed, you might still be able to claim (claimant would have three years from the date of discovering the negligence to claim in court).
This is limited to 15 years, if you do not bring your claim within 15 years, then your claim might be lost forever regardless of when the issue was discovered.
When contacting us: If your situation is severe and we believe you have a genuine claim, we may send your details on to our highly recommended professional negligence solicitors. They will offer you professional advice and can help you recover any loss. Also, by contacting us you agree to our terms and conditions.