Professional negligence: Claims against architects

by | Jul 17, 2017 | Blog Posts

Architects are often charged with turning people’s dreams into a reality, whether they are transforming homes or commercial premises. Unfortunately, as is the case with many professionals, the service provided by an architect can sometimes fall below the standard of work reasonably expected.

Poor designs, failure to achieve the project suitably, health and safety breaches and mishandling of project costs can all lead to devastating consequences for the client; leaving them out of pocket, or even without a home.

Architects are sometimes responsible for more than one project at a time and therefore fail to supervise adequately. Sometimes even when it appears the builder is at fault, it still may be possible to sue the architect.

There is a duty of care owed to you

The responsibilities your architect owes to you will depend on what is in your contract. However, the absence of a contract does not mean that a duty is not owed to you; professionals such as architects are taken to owe a duty of care to the people that are relying on them.

If you feel like you have encountered problems with your construction project and that your duty of care has been breached, you may have a claim against your architect. For example, you may have had problems with:

  • Failure to certify/correctly certify;
  • An incompetent builder which an architect has recommended;
  • Failure to spot a potential issue;
  • Inadequate work, or a failure to supervise the works; or
  • Failure to ensure planning permission has been obtained.

Errors made by an architect can indeed be very pricey and errors in drawings or failing to obtain appropriate planning permission can bring your plans to a half significantly. The worst case scenario is that a building may have to be taken down. If an architect has made any of the above mistakes, or indeed any others you have encountered and you have suffered financial loss as a result of that, then you make be entitlement to make a claim for compensation.

Making claims against architects

You will need to prove you have suffered that loss because of the architect’s negligence and show you would have been in a better financial position if it wasn’t for that loss. If you are able to do this, then you should be able to claim for damages. However, if it can be shown that you have failed to try to avoid or reduce your loss, then any potential right to damages you may have had could be affected. This is called a ‘duty to mitigate’ which is an important one.

Architects are generally insured for the possible consequences of their errors. This means that it will usually be the insurer who will pay your damages, rather than the architect themselves.

Am I too late?

If you have been a victim of architect negligence, but did not know you could you claim it may be time to act now. You have six years from the date constituting the negligence, and three years from the date you realised the negligence has occurred. If you haven’t brought a claim by this deadline, you will be unable to do so.

How can we help?

The thought of suing your architect may sound daunting, but our highly skilled professional negligence solicitors will be able to advise you. We will help you determine whether the errors made by your architect were negligent, as well as considering how best to pursue your claim and recover the compensation you deserve.

Our professional negligence solicitors are specialists in claims against architects. They offer a FREE initial consultation and can advise you on methods of funding your claim.  Call today on 0800 988 7756.

claims against architects

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