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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I purchased a house in November last year and didn’t move in

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Hi, I purchased a house in November last year and didn’t move in until March. The survey didn’t identify any damp, however in August I noticed little piles of dust on the floor which turned out to be due to rising damp. I had to lift floors and remove the fireplace due to the extent of the damp and the tide marks were half way up the wall. I challenged the survey company and they wouldn’t admit fault but offered 1200 which only covers the cost of part of the work and won’t pay any more. I have had substantial disruption to my life as a result of this and wonder if I have good cause to pursue a legal route?
Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I live in the UK and wonder if it’s worth discussing with a lawyer
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have challenged the survey company
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no, I don’t think so

 

Hello, my name is Jim and I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

Yes you do have a good case to sue for professional negligence.

Before you do this, obtain a report from another surveyor to support your claim. You should instruct a surveyor who can prepare an expert witness report (there are several in the UK who can do this - let me know if you want me to find one for you - I will need your approximate location).

Once you have that report, send the original surveyor company a letter of claim (see template attached which needs to be tailored to your case). You need to give them 14 days to acknowledge the letter followed by 3 months to give you their liability decision. Assuming they deny liability you will then need to issue county court proceedings for your losses. The surveyor's report should outline your losses. You will need the N1 claim form x 3 completed copies with the court fee and send to the County Court Business Centre, PO Box 527, Salford, M5 0BY. The court will then issue the claim for you.

I have uploaded the claim form. The court fee depends on the value of the claim. Page 5 of this link confirms the fee :

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/789201/ex50-eng.pdf

If you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you can ask the court to waive the fee (there is another form for this - let me know if this applies to you and I will send it to you).

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (the top right of your screen & then click “submit”), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

JimLawyer and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thanks, I don’t have an expert witness/ survey company. The work has been completed, but I took pictures at the time, will this make a difference?

Even though the work has been completed a surveyor can still be instructed and they will use your pictures to prepare their report.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I suppose I’m concerned that there’s more money to pay for another survey and then court fees with no guarantee of winning which leaves me in a situation of being more out of pocket ?

You can ask the surveyor for a preliminary opinion at little cost - if they think you have a case then you should progress matters and sue. The surveyor may accept end of case payment terms too - so if you win then their fee is repaid by the defendant. Or you can use a no win no fee law firm who will pay the surveyor fees and you pay nothing unless you win.

Recommended firms would be

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Are you able to recommend a survey company? The company I used was e.surv. Thank you

where abouts are you based

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Birmingham

i'll take a look now

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you

No problem, thanks for using the site and come back again if you need further help.

Have a good day