RICS Surveyor Negligence Solicitors

6 min read
RICS surveyor negligence solicitors for your professional negligence claim. A magnifying glass inspects a defective property, as missed by a negligent surveyor.

Surveyor negligence when providing a RICS Level 1, 2 or 3 Home Survey can cost you thousands of pounds that had you known about the defect, you'd have not proceeded with the property; or at least if you did then you would have negotiated a lower purchase price.

We are often asked "Can I bring a professional negligence claim against a surveyor?" and the answer is yes. All RICS Building Surveyors have a duty of care to deliver a service that meets the minimum standards of professional conduct and client care. The service standards are set and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If a surveyor is negligent in their duty to you, then they could be liable to pay you damages.

RICS surveyors must have in date Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover any claims made against them and you can sue them up to 6 years after you purchased.

Get a free consultation for your surveyor negligence claim
We offer a free 10 minute conversation with a trained member of our property dispute team. They will assess your case based on your call and evidence provided and confirm if this is a case that we can help with. Here is our process:

    Complete our contact form and get a free 10 minute call with a trained member of our property dispute team, to discuss your case

There is no obligation to use our paid service after your consultation.

    If we can help, you can book and pay for a 20 minute meeting with our solicitor to discuss your options and what you can do next.

What is the cost of our Surveyor Negligence Solicitor Review?

Our solicitor is available from 22/05/2024* and we offer the solicitor review for a fixed fee of £195 INC VAT.

What is the process for suing a surveyor for negligence?

    Gather evidence. (i.e., date stamped photos, third party reports from building contractors, videos of the defects)
    Write a formal complaint letter to the surveyor. Set out the issue and explain what you want to address the issue.
    (if applicable) The surveyor will revisit the property to assess the allegations.
    Take your complaint to CEDR.
    Instruct a solicitor to bring a breach of contract claim.

Different types of surveyor negligence

What can you do?
Overvalued property
Where the surveyor overstates the property price, you could be able to sue the surveyor for the difference in value.

Where the surveyor doesn't report on visible signs of subsidence in the property.

Where the surveyor doesn't report on visible signs of damp in the property.

Who are CEDR?

The RICS have instructed CEDR to handle disputes for their Level 1-3 Home Surveys, so in the event that you are unsatisfied with the Surveyor's response to your formal complaint you can raise your complaint with CEDR. You cannot raise a complaint to the dispute resolution service until you have raised a formal complaint to your Surveyor. The details of the dispute resolution service for your RICS surveyors is:
Service Provider
Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution

70 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1EU

The dispute resolution service is free for you to use and considers all information provided by you and the Surveyor. They provide their independent opinion on the delivery of the Service by the Surveyor. If you are unhappy with the decision from the dispute resolution service you can ask for a further review by another person at CEDR. If after this further review you are still unhappy, then you can seek to reclaim your losses through the legal system.

Surveyor negligence case law examples

Watts v Morrow (1991)

Watts was buying a property and instructed a RICS Building Surveyor, Morrow, to undertake a Building Survey. The surveyor's report stated "property to be sound, stable and in good condition. Such defects as there were, could be dealt with as part of ordinary, on-going maintenance and repair".

Watts purchased the property and subsequently found that there were substantial defects which cost over £33,000 to correct. Watts brought legal action against Morrow for breach of contract because the building surveyor failed to identify the substantial defects in the property.

Watts' claim was for the total damages to bring the property up to the standard stated within the report and to account for the purchase of the property and for the distress caused by having to live on a ‘building site’ for several months.

Watts was successful in suing a surveyor for negligence and was awarded:

  • the excess purchase price paid in reliance on the report, but didn't get paid back for the costs of conducting the repairs. The courts held that the measure of damages should be to put Watts in the position he would have been if the report had been correctly prepared. Therefore, the loss Watts suffered was the difference in the property's value, as it was presented in the report, and its value in its actual condition; and
  • damages for physical discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Surveyor negligence claim

Do you need help suing a surveyor for negligence? We are surveyor negligence solicitors with years of experience helping clients sue their surveyor.

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