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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33278
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Jointly me and my husband we instructed a surveyor to value

Customer Question

Jointly me and my husband we instructed a surveyor to value three properties. His valuations are very bizarre and skewed to favour my husband too obviously. I can also prove this using land registry data and the house price index from these actual sales and the actual purchase of each property.
He has in essence overvalued the matrimonial, greatly undervalued my husband's property and overvalued a rental property I had. This is shown clearly with land registry data for each area/property type and using the actual purchase price of the property.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How was the Surveyor chosen?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hi clare,

sorry i didn't see this on time.

The surveyor was suggested by my husband's solicitor and I accepted it.

It wasn't a case of proposing three and i choose one or anything llike that.

In some way it was imposed on me because there was time pressure.

The way I saw easily there is something wrong with his valuatiosn is because :

when I saw the previous valuations we had used that were accepted a year ago,, teh surveyors states in essence that within a year:

1) the fmh in wimbledon went up by 49%

2)my husban'ds place in west hampstead went up by 8%

3)teh x-local authority flat that was mine in docklands went up by 17%.

This didn't make sense based on land registry data.

The previous valuations from a year ago were from estate agents.

So I wonder maybe he will question those valuations from a year ago were false.

So I choose the non debatable method where I take for each property the actual purchase price and when it was bought and use the land registry data and the hosue price index changes according to actual indisputable sales and see for each property based on teh area and type what shold have been teh price move.

My suspicion that there is foul play was confirmed. The FMH was overpriced and the x-llocal as well while my husband's property was more than 80k below the range of prices taht would be expected.

What shoudl I do now? Apply on what basis and what count and how to use this on my divorce case?

Thanks

S.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Have you actually obtained further Estate Valuations of the three properties and used those as a guide?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes.

1)For the FMH I have at least 5 agent valuations. I had 2 or 3 initially coming all at lower valuations than the surveyor and I put these in my letter to him. When he went back sayiingt these are not good agents and asked why i iddn't go to some others he proposed I went to them as well and again got lower valuations than him.

2)For my husband's property I can have agents value it but a year ago the property was valued by an agent officially and the surveyor in essence ignored that valuation as he stated that in a year the flat increased by 8% only when in west hampsted properties have gone up by 20%.

I tried to check who is right the agent or the surveyor and used land registry house index from real sales to estimate how muuch the price has increased and using the actual purchase price of the flat back when he bought it. It sshows that the agent's valuation is correct while the surveyor undervalued htat property.

3)the xx-local authority was again like the hhusband's property valued by agents a year ago. surveyor states that it went up by 17% but thsi is at odds with the fact authority flats are increasing slow in price appreciation.

The surveyor is also inconsistent, how come the one flat in west hampstead goes up in value by 8% in a year an d is not x-local and hte other flat in docklands, x-local goes up by 17% in a year?

These valuations are so damaging for my divorce and mean I lose more than 150k which is a huge % of the asset pool,

I am not ssure how to go about this as it is almost catastrophic for me.

thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
If you wish to challenge the Valuations then this can only be done by way of new valuations.
You will need the permission of the court to present new valuations to the Court
You should have three valuations done of the two properties that are within your ocntrl.
If they are at variance with the valuation of the Surveyors then this will be a good reason for asking the court to order fresh valuations (at your expense)
At the same time you should write to the surveyor sending copies of the relevant valuations and remind him of his duty to the court to be impartial and ask for his comments
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can I take the surveyor to court? I don't think I have time to do the new valuations and after a few months the values woudl have changed.

I already have the valuations from the same time that the surveyor did his.

I am trying to see what are my legal options against the surveyor as he on purpose sought to disadvantage me and causeed me significant financial loss.

Which court do I need to go and can I show the various agent valuations vs the surveyor's ones and make a court application ?

on what court and for what, fraud or negligence is better?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry but no you cannot sue the Surveyor - to do so you would have to go through the process above first: have the court refuse to accept the new valuations and make an Order based on the Valuations.
Then you would have to produce all the same evidence I have detailed able and sue the surveyor for the difference between what you shoudl have received and what you did receive BUT you would have to show that you had in fact tried to fight the matter through the family court first and made the Surveyor give evidence on Oath within the family application
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If I had gotten scared at teh court and settled for whatever my ex was proposing fearing that I am so weakened by these valautions and I can't go on with more legal costs then can I go afterwards and sue teh solicitor because he forced me to settle at bad terms and turned the case so against me that I didn't have the courage or the funds to persevere?

Can I independently to a court for surveyors open a case or threat to open a case against him independent to teh family court?

On the basis of fraud or negligence.

What court woudl I need to use? Maybe I can threaten him and ask for my money back and if he refuses then move on with teh application.

At the moment houses move up so even if he was wrong at teh time of the court hearing he may be less so now. My valuations are from the time of the hearing that discredit his and I have quite a few of those.

So I have the valuations already but I don't have any hopes of using this for the divorce, only specifically agains the solicitor.

I am too scared to reopen the case as it could mean I have to pay my ex's costs if the court states it is not a big deal.

I would like to go after the surveyor on the basis of his not living up to his duty towards his profession, his client and the court.

E.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Do you mean that you have in fact settled the matter already?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I did as I got scared when I saw these valuations and I got the impression that there was nothing i could do despite when I went home I got even more valuations and used the data from the landregistry to show that he didn't act in good faith.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Then I am afraid that there is now no action that you can take against the Surveyor
To be successful you woudl have had to have challenged them within the court proceedings
You can however make a formal complaint about his behaviour
Clare

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