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Common types of professional negligence in the real estate industry

negligence in the real estate industry

Professional negligence in the real estate industry can lead to significant financial and legal repercussions for clients. With such large sums of money involved, the stakes are extremely high in what is already a high-pressure industry.  These are the most common types of professional negligence in real estate.

Misrepresentation and false statements

One of the most frequent types of professional negligence in real estate involves misrepresentation or false statements made by agents or brokers. This occurs when incorrect information about a property is provided, whether intentionally or through a lack of due diligence.

Misleading clients about the condition, boundaries or value of a property can result in substantial financial losses and subsequent legal disputes. The Misrepresentation Act 1967 protects parties entering contracts where false or fraudulent claims have been made.


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Failure to conduct proper due diligence

Real estate professionals, such as conveyancers and surveyors, are expected to conduct thorough due diligence before advising clients. This includes verifying property titles, checking for any planning permissions or restrictions, and ensuring that the property complies with local regulations.

Neglecting these duties can result in clients purchasing properties with undisclosed legal issues, encumbrances or structural problems. Such failures not only diminish the property's value but can also expose clients to unexpected legal proceedings and financial burdens.

Negligent property valuations

Accurate property valuations are crucial in property transactions and for financial agreements such as mortgages. Professional negligence can occur when real estate is either overvalued or undervalued due to a lack of market knowledge or improper valuation strategies.

Overvaluation may lead to buyers overpaying, while undervaluation can cause sellers to lose significant amounts of money. In both scenarios, the professional responsible for the valuation can be held liable for the financial discrepancies experienced by their clients.

Inadequate documentation and record-keeping

negligence in the real estate industry

Proper documentation is fundamental to all real estate processes. Accurate record-keeping ensures transparency and legality. Negligence in this area, such as failing to keep copies of contracts, disclosures and communications, can lead to disputes and financial losses.

Inadequate documentation can also make it difficult for clients to defend their rights or prove claims in legal proceedings, further complicating the resolution process. It’s worth all parties keeping accurate records for their own interests.


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Poor negotiation and contract management

Lettings and sales agents are often involved in negotiating and drafting contracts. Negligence here can occur when contracts are poorly drafted, contain unfavourable terms or fail to protect the client's interests adequately.

Mismanagement during negotiation can lead to clients entering into disadvantageous agreements, resulting in financial loss. Effective contract management is crucial to safeguard client interests while ensuring fair terms for all parties involved.



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