The number of legal actions against estate agents and chartered surveyors has significantly fallen according to figures from a City legal firm.
RPC, in a survey reported in the Law Gazette, says claims against estate agents and surveyors fell by 65 per cent last year, from 193 in 2013 to 67 in 2014. This happens as a six-year window for lenders bringing claims related to the 2008 crash draws to a close.
The Law Gazette cites RPC partner Alexandra Anderson saying that claimants had a six-year window in which they can launch legal proceedings against a valuer. “Now this period has passed, claims relating to falling house prices incurred during the recession have dropped off” she says.
Mortgage lenders such as Barclays, Santander and RBS accounted for 86 per cent of claims against surveyors last year. But RPC says lenders are now less motivated to pursue claims as the housing market’s recovery has reduced any losses incurred on repossessed properties.
“When house prices go into free fall as they did in 2008, surveyors who have valued collateral for the loan are often vulnerable to professional negligence claims” says Anderson.
“Some insurers who withdrew their cover from the property market or greatly reduced their book during the credit crunch, are now considering re-entering the market following the fall in claims against property agents.”