Bringing a Negligence Claim Against a Surveyor
Claims against surveyors are a type of professional negligence action. Claims against surveyors for professional negligence can arise when a surveyor fails to provide you with the service you can reasonably expect as a client. If the surveyor's negligence means that you suffer financial loss, it is possible for you to bring a claim against the surveyor to compensate you for those losses.
Your surveyor owes you a duty of care. If they breach that duty, by making a mistake, then that is usually classed as negligence and you are entitled to compensation for the losses you have suffered.
What are Examples of Surveyor's Negligence?
There are many different ways in which a surveyor can be negligent and some examples of negligent mistakes made by surveyors are:
- failing to identify a defect in a property such as damp, dry rot or subsidence;
- failing to identify hazardous materials such as asbestos in a property;
- valuing a property incorrectly, either saying that it was worth too much or too little;
- errors measuring the location of boundaries, which can mean you overpaid for a property or sold your property for too little;
- mistakes with technical land measurements; and
- failing to take proper account of factors which can affect the value of properties such as easements and rights of way.
What should I do if my surveyor has made a mistake?
If your surveyor has made an error which has caused you or your business financial loss, you should take legal advice as quickly as you can. This is because there is a protocol which must be followed in claims against surveyors, and it is important that you follow the protocol and start your claim off correctly.
It is particularly important in negligence claims against surveyors, that evidence is preserved and recorded, before any work is undertaken to put the mistakes right. We can advise you about how to go about this, to ensure that your right to bring a claim against your surveyor is preserved.
It will usually be necessary to instruct an expert to provide a report on the mistakes your surveyor has made. We have a network of established experts that we use for this type of report.
Once this report is complete and we have established that you have a good claim, we would send your surveyor a formal letter of claim, in accordance with the protocol, setting out the mistakes they have made, and confirming the financial loss you have suffered as a result of their negligence.
The next steps would depend upon how your surveyor responds, and we will be able to discuss your options with you at that stage. In a lot of cases, mediation will be an appropriate next step, but in some cases, court proceedings will be necessary.
How much do claims against surveyors cost?
Bringing a claim against a surveyor can mean that you incur costs up front, including costs for legal advice, and the cost of obtaining expert advice to establish what the surveyor has done wrong. Whilst these costs can run into the thousands, you are usually able to claim these costs from the surveyor, as part of your claim against them.
The good news is that your surveyor will almost certainly be insured, which means that their insurer will be able to pay you any damages that are agreed or awarded by the court, and a large proportion of your costs, in the event that you bring a successful claim against them. You therefore do not have to worry about the surveyor going out of business if you bring a claim against them.
We appreciate that if your surveyor has caused you loss, that you may struggle to pay legal fees when you first come to us. This is why we have designed a range of flexible funding options for our clients, which can include conditional (no win no fee) agreements for appropriate cases.
Get advice about suing your surveyor
Samuels Solicitors has acted for clients with professional negligence claims against surveyors for many decades, and this is a niche specialism for us.
If you think that you have a claim against a surveyor, contact us today for a no obligation chat to find out how we can help you recover compensation.