Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Trust and Integrity at the Heart of Property

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Trust and Integrity at the Heart of Property

Article excerpt


MUCH has been written recently about the need for a true public-private partnership to create the economic growth that we need around the UK.

The importance of being a true professional and adhering to the highest standards is at the centre of such expectations. In my own case, being a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) means my watchword is 'put your client's interest ahead of your own'.

Conflicts of interest are avoided, or exclusively settled in my client's favour, regardless of the impact on me. Personal integrity would allow no less.

This is the reputation that is needed to be built if people are to trust you to deal with what can be the most costly transaction they deal with in property.

There are multiple tests on integrity in resolving conflicts of interest. Some are easy to resolve - others are more esoteric and require careful thought. A robust system is required to check for conflicts of interest providing a property service on a day-to-day basis.

The test is always under scrutiny and I ask the question, would I be able to successfully demonstrate that I have acted appropriately? Reputation is hard earned and quickly lost.

The most common conflict of interest is acting for more than one client at a time, the larger the business the more challenging this becomes to avoid such situations. If a conflict is identified, robust rules are needed for declaration, transparency and resolution.

Conflicts are best avoided, but situations do exist when clients wish you to proceed - one must not arrive in this situation unknowingly. It is important to declare the existence of a conflict to all relevant parties and secure it in agreement to proceed.

Transparency is at the core of good practice. This might sound easy, but there are often situations where the conflict is not obvious at first glance. …

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