Nigel intends to open his own estate agency. He decides to purchase a shop with a flat above it,
where he intends to live (‘Property’). The Property was built in 1936. Nigel has applied for a
mortgage. The mortgage lender commissioned its own survey on the property which Nigel paid the
mortgage company for. His solicitor advises him to arrange his own survey but as he has little
money, he decides to rely on the fact that one is being carried out for the mortgage lender.
Jenny, a local surveyor, carries out the survey for the mortgage lender. Nigel was given a copy of
the survey report which values the Property at £200,000 and states that there are no major
structural problems. The survey also included a statement that ‘this report is provided without
liability on the part of the surveyor’.
On seeing the report, Nigel goes ahead and buys the property for £200,000.
Nigel also invests £20,000 in equipment for the business, including a photocopier. On the opening
day the photocopier overheats and explodes injuring Nigel and damaging the newly decorated office
and some of the new office furniture. As a result, Nigel has to close the office for a week to
redecorate and find replacement office furniture and estimates that he has lost £1,000 in profit whilst
the office was closed.
Just before reopening, Nigel notices wide cracks in the back wall of the Property and damp in the
front ground floor walls. Tom, a surveyor who is a friend of Nigel’s, tells Nigel that the cracks are
due to improper repair following bomb damage. Most of the houses in the area were damaged by a
bomb dropped during the Second World War, a fact which should be known to all local surveyors.
The damp is caused by deterioration of the damp proof course which should have been apparent to
a qualified surveyor. The repairs will be costly.
Task
Critically evaluate the scenario above and using your knowledge of the tort of negligence, advise
Nigel as to any claims in he may have in negligence and against whom.
Your answer should be in essay format. Please see the additional guidance below. Do not produce
your answers in the style of a letter or report.

Law for Surveyors