The distressed property market that followed the crash in September 2008 has brought with it an inevitable increase in claims against valuers by banks, mortgage lenders, and investors in respect of negligent valuation and, in a minority of cases, in respect of fraudulent valuation.
Like other professionals valuers have a duty to exercise reasonable skill and care. This doesn’t mean that they are obliged to get the value exactly right. When considering a valuation one of the factors the court takes into account is what a competent valuer would regard as the correct range of values, or margin of error, to be applied to the property in question. If the alleged negligent valuation falls outside the range then the valuation may be negligent.
As well as banks and building societies, buy-to-let investors were very active in the buoyant property market that ended in 2008. Over-ambitious rental and capital valuations have lead to a large number of valuers’ negligence claims by investors whose expectations have been disappointed.
Many banks and building societies have been patient with their borrowers hoping that the property market will improve. As that hasn’t happened some of them are now enforcing their securities, suffering shortfalls and considering whether they have claims for negligent valuation.
As with all claims it is best to obtain advice as early as possible. We can advise on the merits of a claim, mitigation, and funding; and we can help in presenting a case and dealing with valuers’ insurers. Litigation represents a large part of our practice and therefore if it’s not possible to settle a case in the early stages we can provide representation in any subsequent litigation.