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valuers breathe a sigh of relief

17 June 2011

The much anticipated decision in the case of Scullion v Bank of Scotland t/as Colleys was handed down this morning by the Court of Appeal.

In overturning the first instance decision, it was held that the valuer of a residential property does not owe a duty of care to a borrower if he was instructed by a commercial lender and the borrower is a buy-to-let investor. In reaching this decision, the Court of Appeal has ruled that there is a distinction between ‘standard’ purchasers (to whom a duty is owed, even if the valuer was instructed by the lender) and buy-to-let investors.

This decision will be welcomed by valuers and their insurers, who will have been concerned by the first instance decision, which sought to widen the scope of the principle in Smith v Bush, increasing claim numbers in a sector that has already been badly hit by the downturn in the housing market.

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