Professional Negligence lawyer at Slee Blackwell’s Taunton office, Lee Dawkins, looks at judicial criticism of the “tick box” approach adopted by E.Surv in a recent surveyors’ negligence claim
The courts have given further guidance on the approach to be taken in negligent mortgage valuation cases.
E.Surv, the UK’s largest residential surveyor, was found to have been negligent in carrying out two mortgage valuations. In giving his judgment, Mr Justice Coulson criticised E.Surv for blindly following the lender’s “tick box” form.
The lender, GMAC, was described as being wedded to “tick box” forms for every aspect of their business. So when the valuation surveyor was confronted with such a form he was required to consider how his obligations to take “reasonable care” and comply with RICS guidance could best be achieved.
The answer, according to Coulson J, is that if a surveyor is unable to discharge his legal obligations to the lender without adding words to the form or submitting it with a covering letter then he should do so, regardless of the lender’s own guidance notes and systems.
By simply ticking the boxes and leaving it at that it the mortgage valuation was deemed to be negligent and compensation was awarded against the surveyor.
For FREE initial legal advice on any mortgage valuation claim or other professional negligence case call us on 0808 139 1606. Alternatively, you can email Lee at [email protected]. And if you would prefer a good old-fashioned face to face chat you can see Lee at Taunton or another member of our professional negligence team at any of our offices in Exeter, Barnstaple, Bideford, South Molton or Braunton.