How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13934
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

We had a building survey done. the survey said that the loft

This answer was rated:

we had a building survey done. the survey said that the loft was inaccessible and needed to be broken into. We bought the house. Once moved in, we found a perfectly accessible loft hatch and then foudn asbestos in the attic space (obviously not referenced in the report as he hadn't seen it) The asbestos will cost around £6000 to remove. The survey also had numerous other inaccuracies and omissions. Do have any case against the surveyors - particularly in relation to the asbestos costs. He said he couldn't get in the loft, but it would have been perfectly reasonable to expect a surveyor to find the attic hatch and therefore find the asbestos.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: haven't raised it witht he surveyor yet - wanted to find out whether I should let a lawyer do it!
JA: Where is the loft located?
Customer: the hatch is located in one of the first floor bedrooms. It is an old property with beams. The beams quite clearly are arranged around the hatch
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no, that's it.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Yes, you do have a case against the surveyors for your loss. Though it would be a professional negligence claim which means it is more complex than a simply debt action. You first need to ascertain your exact loss, then send them a letter before action to demand an admission of liability and then payment of the sum you are claiming. They will pass the letter to their professional indemnity insurers to deal with. I have attached a template letter so you know what it looks like though most people use professional negligence law firms given you would be up against their insurer and then their panel solicitor - it would not be an equal footing unless you have your own lawyer. I will give you details of firms who may offer you a no win no fee agreement.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you for that. I feel fairly confident that I am right to think that the survey was inadequate, they also stated on the survey that there were no signs of asbestos. They obviously hadn't seen the attic asbestos, but the garage roof is also asbestos. There is also a sheet of asbestos sitting within the garage building. The garage is within the remit of the survey and there was no restriction to his seeing it. The cost for the removal of the garage roof is much less, but that seems a lot more black and white that they reported incorrectly. My concern (particularly if involving legal expenses) is that their defense will be that they stated on the survey that we shoudl gain access to the loft area before buying the house. I felt that I wouldn't be able to do that because the survey said that would involve 'breaking into surfaces'. Could they get out of it by saying that I didn't follow their advice to go into the loft area, or does my point still stand that it was perfectly reasonable for someone (particularly a surveyor of all people!) to identify the hatch and use it to inspect the attic area?

Thanks, ***** ***** did a very poor job considering they are supposed to be knowledgeable in this area of work. They may defend the claim, yes, and all the more reason to ask a no win no fee lawyer to take this on - so you are fully protected from any adverse costs if you lost. They should have identified the issues, so my answer is the same given the further information. I hope that's OK.

JimLawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you