A Surveyor instructed by you has a duty of care towards you – of that there is no doubt. But what happens if you are buying a house and your building society/lender arranges a survey? The answer is that the surveyor owes you a duty of care here as well. A surveyor can be sued by you if he has breached his duty of care and as a result you have sustained loss. There are two fairly obvious examples of professional negligence by a surveyor.

The first is where the surveyor has failed to pick up on a problem with the property. He missed dampness or subsidence. It would still depend upon the type of survey, but matters of this nature might well put the surveyor in a very sticky position. The second area where claims are likely is where the surveyor has placed a valuation on the property, upon which valuation you have relied, and the value has been found to be considerably less than he stated. This again on the face of it is actionable. The surveyor will and should be insured to meet your claim and you are entitled to claim in the first instance the cost of the remedial work, and in the second instance, the difference in value. You will also, as with all such claims, be able to claim interest and costs.

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