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Construction Law and Safety - Essay Example

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The first person examined will be the liability that might be encountered by Jimmybuild Ltd. Jimmybuild was aware of the problem with the foundation, yet concealed this information from Nina. There is the possibility that Jimmybuild would be liable under the Property Misrepresentations Act 1991, if they made a statement to Nina that there was not a structural defect, because this would mean that they made a false or misleading statement during a business transaction (Property Misrepresentations Act 1991 § 1(1)…
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Download file to see previous pages The offense is one of strict liability, which means that it does not matter if the statement was intentional or negligent, but, rather, just that the statement was made and that the statement was false. So, in this case, Jimmybuild Ltd., if they made a statement with regards to the condition of the building, any kind of statement to Nina along those lines, and did not mention the fact that the foundation was defective, they would be liable under the Property Misrepresentations Act 1991. A statement that contains an omission would make Jimmybuild Ltd. liable under the Act, so, because any statement regarding the condition of the property would contain that omission, Jimmybuild Ltd. would be liable. Peter, the surveyor, may be at risk of negligence. According Murdoch (2005) surveyors may be guilty of negligence when they do not use skill in preparing their reports and the homeowner relied upon the surveyor’s report (Murdoch, 2005, p. 1). Privity of contract has historically been used as a defense on the part of the surveyor, as there was not privity of contract between the homeowner and the surveyor. Therefore, historically, the homeowner could not recover damages from the surveyor. However, the case of Hedley Byrne v. Heller [1964] AC 465 changed this rule. Heldley concerned appellants who were advertisers with a client named Easipower. Easipower defaulted on contracts to advertise on certain television and radio programmes that were procured by the appellants, making the appellants personally liable on the contracts. The appellants, however, had relied upon reports prepared by the defendant bank in which the defendant bank, Heller and Partners, which stated that Easipower was creditworthy, when, in fact, Easipower was not. The lower court ruled that the bank did not owe a duty of care to the Appellants, because the lack of privity of contract. However, the decision in the House of Lords was that proximity was not necessary to establish when attempting to show whether there was a duty of care owed (Hedley Byrne v. Heller [1964] AC 465). Therefore, privity of contract is not necessary, and an individual may sue a surveyor for negligent misstatements or omissions. Yianni v. Edwin Evans & Sons [1982] QB 438 carried this principle through, and this case is on point for the facts at hand. In Yianni, the surveyors made a representation that a house was suitable for a loan of ?12,000. However, because of structural and foundational flaws, the house was actually worth very little, yet the appellant relied upon the representation that the house was worth ?12,000 and procured a loan based upon this representation. The court still found in favor of the appellants, thus establishing the fact that privity of contract was not necessary for the appellants to collect damages. (Yianni v. Edwin Evans & Sons [1982] QB 438). Thus, Yianni established that not only does there not need to be privity of contract to sue, but that, if the individual who relies upon the report is of modest means, there are no grounds for contributory negligence. These cases establish that privity of contract is not necessary. Nina did not have a contract with the surveyors, but, rather, had a contract with Jimmybuild Ltd., but this does not matter, she can still sue Peter and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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