Commercial & Dispute Resolution (Property @ction) - Review

    July 2009

    Valuers' Negligence - The Scope for Increased Claims in the Economic Downturn

    With the increasing prospect of borrowers defaulting on their loans, and in light of the collapse of the property market, there is potentially a greater prospect for claims against valuers.

    Lenders will scrutinise original valuations very carefully, particularly where re-sale values are out of all proportion to the original price paid (even taking into account the fall in the property market).

    This article is a reminder of some of the issues that may be relevant, not only for those considering a negligence action against a valuer, but also for those valuers that may be on the wrong end of a valuation negligence claim. Specifically, this article briefly considers the general principles applicable to claims against professionals; the margin of error principle applicable to land valuations; the question of contributory negligence in claims against valuers and other potential defences.

    In May 2008, international law firm Hammonds became a limited liability partnership. Hammonds LLP and its affiliated undertakings has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester in the UK, and in Berlin, Brussels, Beijing, Hong Kong, Madrid, Munich and Paris.