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Property negligence

Property negligence claims

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0808 301 8622

  • Overview
  • Our Experts
  • See Our 10 Simple Steps

Property professionals, such as surveyors, solicitors, builders or architects, are not immune from getting things wrong but when they do it can result in financial loss or damage. Property negligence can cover a variety of issues such as the failure to advise properly on the necessary planning and building regulations, over-valuing the property, incorrect architectural drawings, and surveys not identifying defects in the property.

When you are buying a property, surveyors and conveyancing solicitors play a vital role.  A surveyor’s expertise and knowledge is relied upon, not only for valuations, but also for other decisions relating directly to a specific property. If a surveyor’s valuation is more than 10-15% above or below the identified correct value, then they are likely to be found negligent.  Most claims against conveyancing solicitors relate to their failure to investigate sufficiently the title and matters affecting that property.

If you decide to extend your home or even build a new one, it’s likely that you’ll need the services of an architect and a builder. Architects’ negligence usually relates to the drawing of plans, applications for planning permission or the design of a new build property or extension. If the architect also acts as a project manager or overseas  a building team, they may  fail in their duty to manage the project properly, causing mistakes and financial loss.  

When employing builders, their work must be safe and comply with building regulations and other set standards. So claims usually relate to work that does not meet these requirements, failing to complete the job within a reasonable amount of time or failing to carry out the required works at a reasonable cost.  

If you have suffered financial loss or damage as a result of a property professional’s negligence, it's important to make sure you seek specialist legal advice to determine your legal rights.

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way

  • Specialist team of professional negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • Over 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist property negligence solicitors, call us now on 01515505228 (calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

Claire Critchley

Our Financial, Property and Professional Claims team is headed by senior solicitor Claire Critchley who has over 10 years experience dealing with complex legal claims against a variety of professionals including surveyors, architects, estate agents and solicitors, in addition to dealing with financial disputes involving mis-sold mortgages and interest rate swaps. Claire also has significant past experience in representing large companies and financial institutions in a range of different legal service areas including breach of contract, debt recovery and insolvency litigation. Claire is currently leading the pursuit of a group claim in relation to a £2 million property investment case known as Enterprise House in Leicester.

  • This is not about a claims culture. We just want to defend the rights of the people who are suffering because of this.

    Claire Critchley,
    Head of Professional Negligence

Patricia Murphy

Patricia has 6 years of file-handling experience in litigation and currently has responsibility for a mixed case load including property related legal negligence claims, claims against architects and contract disputes. Highlights for Patricia have included conduct of high value multi-track cases, with the value of damages awarded often exceeding £100,000. Patricia also has significant experience handling a range of personal injury disputes.

Chris Tetzlaff

Chris has over 6 years of experience as a litigation file-handler and currently has responsibility for a mix of disputes involving legal negligence, contract disputes and housing disrepair.  Chris also has significant experience in and knowledge of personal injury litigation. Past highlights have included working extensively with leading Counsel on a number of catastrophic injury and fatal accident claims worth between £250,000 - £2,000,000 involving forensic accident reconstruction and complex, life-changing injuries including brain injury, amputation and severe psychological trauma.

Catherine Donnelly

In early 2015, Catherine began working in the firm as a paralegal whilst completing the Legal Practice Course. In January 2017, she became a Trainee Solicitor and is currently completing her third seat. She has also completed seats in Group Litigation and Residential Conveyancing. Outside of work, Catherine is an enthusiastic baker who loves to paint. She is a regular contributor to fund raising events for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support charities. She is also a passionate member of the National Trust, and loves to spend her time visiting various locations throughout the UK.

Aileen Wood

Aileen joined the firm in 2012 as a Legal Assistant in the Group Litigation Department.  She joined the Professional Negligence team a couple of years later where she is now a Paralegal having completed a 12 month internal development programme. Aileen enjoys taking part in charity events such as her most recent event, Hell Runner. She also loves spending time with her family which includes her fiancé and two step children. Most of all, she loves everything relating to Christmas.

Kathy McQuillan

Kathy has been a Legal Assistant in the Professional Negligence team since joining the firm in December 2016. She also completed her Law Degree in 2016 and is currently undertaking the Legal Practice Course. Outside of work, Kathy enjoys spending time with her family.

Professional negligence – 10 simple steps to achieving your compensation

For most people, a compensation claim isn't an everyday occurrence so here is a brief explanation of how we manage your claim and the 10 steps we both need to go through.

Step 1 - Understanding what went wrong

Our initial in-depth discussion with you helps us collect important information about your claim, such as what you feel went wrong, the financial or other losses this caused you and when you first found out about this. 

Step 2 – Reviewing relevant documents

We’ll review all your documents and other information, including any that the professional holds,   which will then enable us to give you our expert opinion on the strength of your case and the likely value of your claim. 

Step 3 – Obtaining an initial response to your grievance

If your case is strong enough to proceed, we’ll send a Preliminary Notice to the professional involved, setting out the basis of your grievance and the claim you are intending to make.  The professional then has 21 days to respond. 

Step 4 – Sending the Letter of Claim

Once we receive a response, we’ll prepare the detailed Letter of Claim and send it to the professional, along with any relevant documents that support your case.  This letter will set out the facts upon which your claim is based, the allegations against him or her, an explanation of how this has caused you loss, the estimated value of this loss and details of how this has been calculated. 

Step 5 – The professional’s detailed response

The professional has 3 months to investigate and fully respond to our letter.  They must provide their answers to the allegations you have made, identify which they admit or deny, send us copies of any documents they wish to rely on, and provide details of any further information needed from you.

Step 6 – Taking a detailed statement

We will work with you to draft a detailed, accurate statement in your own words about your claim and the losses that you are now looking to claim for.  We may also need to take witness statements from other people who can support your case – for example your family members. 

Step 7 – Obtaining experts’ reports

Depending on the nature of your claim, we may need to engage one or more experts to provide a report to support your case - for example, if you have long term injuries.  Once the experts’ reports have been received and agreed by you, we will send a copy to the professional you are claiming against.

Step 8 – Issuing court proceedings

If your case has not been settled, we may need to issue court proceedings against the professional so we will deal with all the detailed court processes on your behalf.

Step 9 – Attending your court trial

If your case does go to trial, you will need to attend the hearing, together with any other witness and possibly the experts we instructed in the case.    If the judge decides that the professional was negligent, the judge will decide on the amount of compensation you will receive for your losses. The defendant will usually be ordered to pay us the costs we have incurred in preparing your case, including court fees and expert reports.

Step 10 – Awarding your compensation claim

If you are successful in your case, we will agree a date by which your compensation will be paid to us so that we can pay your compensation to you as quickly as possible.

How long does a claim take?

Because the circumstances surrounding every claim and their effects are different, it’s very difficult to give a definitive answer on how long it takes to settle a claim.  Often it depends on how quickly our clients provide us with essential information, how quickly we can get your file of papers from the professional and any expert reports required, and whether the insurance companies are willing to provide realistic offers to settle the claims.

Whilst we aim to settle your claim as quickly as possible, we also want to ensure we secure the maximum compensation for you.  This often means we have to do some hard negotiation with the defendants – which takes extra time.  Our aim is to balance progressing the claim as fast as possible with getting you the maximum settlement.

We realise that you’ll be keen to know about the progress of your claim so we will send you regular emails and texts to keep you up to date, and also to remind you if there is any information we’re waiting for from you.