Following the steep fall in property prices and asset values starting from last year, property owners are pointing the finger of blame firmly at estate agents and surveyors who they believe were negligent.
According to statistics published by law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, twenty five professional negligence cases were brought before the High Court in 2009, a massive increased compared to just one case in the previous five years.
After commercial property prices fell 45 per cent and house prices fell 22 per cent in 2009, property owners have been rushing to pursue legal action and compensation claims against surveyors and estate agents. They claim that these firms were negligent in overvaluing their properties, many of which subsequently fell in price causing heavy financial losses for owners.
A partner at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, Alexandra Anderson, has given an explanation for the drastic increase in legal action against valuers, saying:
“Losses of British and Irish banks on loans in the UK property market run to billions of pounds. This has put a lot of pressure on banks and investors to pursue any option open to them to recover their losses, including launching a negligence claim against the surveyor who valued the collateral for the loan.”