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Double dipping, double running or dual agency is the practice of acting for multiple parties, usually when undertaking investment work in the property industry, often for both buyer and seller or multiple buyers. In recent years, it has become a serious industry concern, and in 2014 resulted in a UK voluntary protocol, published by the Investment Property Forum, which put emphasis on transparency and confidentiality. It also recommended that all firms should implement an ‘introduction policy’ to ensure agents are clear on how introductions are treated, and a ‘barrier policy’ designed to deal with potential conflicts.
In January 2017, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) stated, “dual agency must not be undertaken under any circumstance”, and it is currently putting together a professional statement on conflicts to reflect this, that will be mandatory for all members of the RICS. The new hardline stance has been commended by many in the industry, and will help to promote trust in the profession – one of the RICS’s five Global Professional and Ethical Standards.
However, although all RICS members must abide by the rules and regulations of the institution, dual agency is still problematic in other countries. In a bid to combat this, the RICS is drawing up a separate global professional statement on conflicts. The new global and UK standards are due to be effective from January 1st 2018.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.