Jonathan Newman

Brightstone Law reports 150% surge in problem development lending cases

There has been an increase in problem development lending cases over the last 12 months, according to a specialist law firm.

Brightstone Law has claimed that it has seen a 150% surge in such cases during this time.

It claimed that the rise could be partly explained by the rush into development lending in the last five years and difficult market conditions.

The law firm highlighted a recent High Court case, which looked at the responsibilities of monitoring surveyors in development lending and provided crucial guidance as to good practice on when to lend and how to manage drawdowns.

Jonathan Newman, senior partner at Brightstone Law (pictured above), said that there were a number of key lessons to be learned from the case.

“Every lending piece should be underwritten on its own facts and circumstances and must meet documented tried and trusted underwriting criteria.

“A monitoring surveyor does not underwrite the risk where criteria are ignored.”

Jonathan added that at the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

“Depending on the nature of the development and the character of the developer, detailed forensic analysis may very well be necessary, well advised and is what is required.

“A commensurate fee is appropriate and operates to indicate the significance of the report and reliance.

“When instructing a monitoring surveyor, lenders should always provide detailed instructions, which should outline exactly what is required.

“Instructions should include a full suite of documentation, including development plans, up-to-date planning permissions and drawings.”

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