I have just discovered that the house I bought three years ago has subsidence. We had a full survey carried out before we bought and this was not spotted. I am insured but will have to pay a hefty excess for the repairs. Can I make a claim against anyone for this oversight?
YOU need to obtain an independent report from a Building Surveyor or Structural Engineer to establish whether or not the problem existed at the time you bought. A building surveyor will advise as to whether or not your surveyor should have identified any tell-tale signs that should have been picked up in an ordinary homebuyers or structural survey. If the Report is favourable, then you may have a claim against your surveyor for professional negligence. You should seek the advice of a solicitor specialising in professional negligence. You should also investigate the possibility of the problem being covered by your building’s insurance policy as this may be an easier and more direct way of recovering the cost of the remedial works. In the event of a successful insurance claim, you may still have the right to claim any uninsured losses direct from your surveyor, such as any excess, should you be able to prove negligence. As with all such litigation the cost of pursuing it must be weighed up against the overall cost of the works.