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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Yes, I'd like to know if I can sue my neighbour's surveyor.

Resolved Question:

Yes, I'd like to know if I can sue my neighbour's surveyor. She has caused all sorts of problems. My flat has suffered enormous damage. Our surveyor is pursuing the matter and we may need to get a third one in but their surveyor has ignored the PW Award we had and the neighbours non-compliance has been a nightmare (working 7-7 instead of 8-5 building a double megabasement. She (their surveyor) has made several errors and is now saying the damage cannot have extended as far as it had. My flat is 1400sq ft and every room has cracks - some major. I've been treated for stress since April last year. But basically my question is can I sue their surveyor? Thanks very much Georganne Uxbridge
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Did you have a contract with the surveyor at all please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


ps I already had enough information a year ago to get an immediate injunction to stop all works. I finally after 3 months fighting got them to comply with the working hours (building megabasement 2 floors below regular basement for swimming pool etc) The damage has even spread to the house beyond mine. It started in Feb 2014. I had an inspection as they said notifiable works finished 2 weeks ago and am waiting for report. This is when I learnt from my surveyor (yesterday) that their surveyor says the huge cracks in my sitting room and kitchen which occurred the same time as the next door house couldn't have been caused by their works as it was too far away. Their surveyor also send me an Award last Sept which incorrectly stated they could have access to our alley (by my bedroom window) 24 hours a day for 6 months. She shouldn't have sent the Award (our Surveyor should) and I spent the whole weekend trying to contact solicitors and my surveyor and got my architect round. My doctor has sent me for mental health care and she and the therapist have agreed in writing that my condition is solely caused by the illegal works (i.e. breaches of PWAct, our Award and numerous statutory and by-laws.
I am going to sue the owners for mental and physical stress and loss of rent in any case but meanwhile their surveyor's attitude is totally impossible. Thanks

Optional Information:
Province/Country relating to question : London

Already Tried:
I have kept records of all their breaches. In this latest incident my surveyor is still negotiating with theirs re damages (which are extensive and I have had to live with for over a year). She is quibbling and we may have to get a third surveyor. However I am so angry at her denial of responsibility - particularly as when she looked at these cracks in April last year she actually said "Well the good thing is you'll have all damage repaired"… referring to the cracks furthest from the site.



Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
But the surveyor was not negligent ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm talking about their surveyor who says the damage in my sitting room was not caused by the megabasement excavation. Three architects and our surveyor agree it was. The whole experience has been completely traumatic (it was in the newspapers a few months ago). I'll write with more detail if needed. When you say 'negligent' she (their surveyor) has made some minor mistakes (for e.g. in original report saying she didn't lift carpet in bathroom - there IS NO CARPET. She also sent me an Award - which should have been sent by our surveyor, not her, which has a mistaken clause in it giving the neighbours builders 24 hr access to our alleyway (by my bedroom) for 6 months. This arrived at the weekend and I spent the whole time trying to contact our surveyor (who knew I'd objected to that) and lawyers and architects. It turned out she meant WE would have 24 hr access, not them… She also inspected the relevant damage in sitting room and kitchen in April last year and said "Well the good thing is that any damage will be repaired"… She's just come back from maternity leave and I think it's a matter of incompetence rather than negligence. I 've been fighting the illegal building (out of hours work) all last year and finally won. They (the builders) have breached numerous Statutory and by-laws. I was asking if I could sue her -their surveyor - for damages for distress and incompetence. I have been diagnosed with trauma and the NHS therapist has written to say it is purely because of their breaches,

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ps I don't thing `i can sue her re `pWAct 96, or the non-compliance with our Party Wall Award - I know I have to sue the owners for that. (The Party WallCasebook has become my bedtime reading)! What I was thinking was something more like the Small Claims Court for causing unnecessary distress and damaging my physical and mental health - which she has done.

Re your question about contract: We have a Party Wall Award - we have a surveyor and so do they. Our surveyor who is also an architect knows the damage was caused by them. He is currently putting that to her and perhaps she will agree. But the point is I am fed up with her mistakes which might seem minor but have caused enormous distress. The neighbours building the swimming pool megabasement are spending at least 10 million. Our Surveyor is not very forceful. If I hadn't fought they would probably still be working 7am-7pm. It's going to take another year to finish but the 'notifiable works' are supposedly finished and I am waiting for the report/agreement on what needs repair. Every room is cracked - all with cracks over 2mm and the whole flat needs redoing. I haven't been able to work (I work from home) since Feb 14. I'm not sure how much of this is relevant to my case. The PWAct is such a farce I wanted to know if i could sue her (or threaten to ) for damages caused by her mistakes, including the latest of suggesting the sitting room damage was too far away to have been caused by their works - which is nonsense because the whole house used to shake very badly and we had to fit telltales; I was also locked in bathroom through dropped door and three other doors have dropped and had to be shaved. I am just feeling outraged that having previously looked at the sitting room and kitchen cracks and said they d be repaired she is now saying they aren't caused by the works. Which again is crazy because the damage has actually spread to the next door house - on the other side of my sitting room. As they have no PWAward they are claiming through their insurers who will most likely claim against the owners of the excavation. (NB These basement s have now been banned in RBKC because of the damage and distress they have caused). Thanks Georganne

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok. If you have architects that say it was have you been to court? Your claim would be against your neighbour. Their claim would be against the surveyor as a matter of negligence. But sadly you can't sue direct as you don't have a contract.
It's for y to sue the neighbour for damage and they counter sue the surveyor.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You didn't answer my actual question - can I sue their survey for say nuisance? she is being deliberately obstructive.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
No. You can only sue the neighbour. You can't sue the surveyor for anything. There is NO cause of action whatsoever sadly.
Alex
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex