“Old School” surveyor liable for failure to report knotweed

Here’s a case to give surveyors something else to worry about! 

Following his house purchase Mr Ryb discovered the presence of Japanese knotweed in the garden. The maturity of the plant showed it had been in situ for at least 3 years and it proved difficult and costly to remove even after the use of mechanical diggers and contaminated soil removal.

My Ryb sued the surveyor who had carried out his homebuyer survey and has recently been awarded damages of £50k and costs of £90k. A costly oversight on the part of the surveyor.

It may come as some comfort to property professionals to hear that the judge in the case described the surveyor as “old school” and said his work “[fell] short of the standard to be required of a reasonably competent surveyor. “In the course of his survey, he had taken no photographs. He had drawn no plans. He had taken no measurements.”

A salutary tale perhaps for all of us not to cut corners but for surveyors in particular to remain vigilent given that knotweed shows no sign of being eradicated any time soon. 

A home buyer has been awarded £50,000 compensation plus costs of up to £90,000  after a surveyor failed to spot Japanese knotweed growing in the garden of the £1.2m property.