BTL landlord wins payout from surveyor for over-estimating rental income

A buy-to-let landlord has won compensation from a surveyor judged to have over-estimated the rental income on a new build flat, according a report in The Observer.

The property, in Cobham Surrey, was bought in 2002 and valued at its asking price of £352,950. The surveyor, Colleys, which is now part of Lloyds Banking Group, estimated a rental income of £2,000 a month.

The landlord was only able to earn £1,000 a month from the property and sold it at a loss in 2006.

He subsequently took legal action against Colleys claiming it owed him a duty of care, and was awarded £72,000 earlier this month, according to The Observer. The damages covered loss of rental income and the administration costs of purchasing and selling the property.

A Colleys spokesman told the Observer: “Valuations are never 100 per cent accurate. We look at comparable properties in a locality let out in the period of time just before the valuation. It’s not a science but it’s usually correct even in today’s market where there are fewer transactions than in the past.”