Surveyors owe a duty of care to spot obvious defects in a property where the precise scope of the duty depends on the nature of the survey. For a basic homebuyers survey, a surveyor should spot visible serious defects such as subsidence or major structural damage. Where a full structural survey was carried out the surveyor owes a higher duty of care where anyone would expect a reasonably competent surveyor to uncover most significant defects with a property.
With the property boom times a few years back, corners were sometimes cut and mistakes were made. Unfortunately, the consequences of surveyors missing problems can be very expensive. If you think you have a significant problem with a property which a surveyor has missed then you may be entitled to legal redress.
Responsibility of Valuers
Valuers need to make sure the valuation they place on a property is reasonably accurate. In order to do so they ought to have considered comparable properties in the locality. Problems occur where valuers take insufficient care to consider the current market for the property, sometimes getting carried away with potential values. When the market was very buoyant and valuers were busy, some cut corners and there are tales of ‘drive-by valuations’. Often problems do not surface until much later when the property is being sold and the valuation proves to have been highly optimistic.
The law recognises that valuation is not an exact science and makes an allowance of 10-15% from a notional correct valuation before deciding that a valuation was negligent. Where the valuation strays outside this 10-15% bracket, the valuation was negligent and the purchaser or lender is entitled to redress.
Examples of cases involving by surveyors or valuers
- Overvaluing properties
- Failing to carry out a proper inspection of the property
- Failing to report on obvious defects e.g. failing to identify dry rot, cracking or subsidence
- Producing an inadequate or defective report
- Failing to correctly undertake a structural survey
- Failing to warn of things that might warrant further investigation
- Wrongly valuing property for insurance purposes, creating a shortfall if the property is destroyed
Property surveyor negligence compensation
Where you have lost out through the negligence of a surveyor or valuer you may be entitled to redress. Contact us on 08000 558 441 or click here to email us to talk to our friendly team about a free no obligation assessment. We will also be able to advise on the best means of funding for your case and can normally accept cases on a no win no fee basis, meaning that you will not have to pay a penny if your claim is unsuccessful.