Most commercial property agents in London act for both Landlord & Tenant, which is a clear conflict of interest. The most obvious occurrence of conflict of interest is when an agent has a listing on a building within which the same agent is representing a tenant in negotiations for a lease. How can they possibly get the best deal for a tenant if they also serve the landlord on the same – or other – transactions?
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors define this issue as:
“A conflict of interest is anything that impedes or might be perceived to impede an individual’s or firm’s ability to act impartially and in the best interest of a client.”
Examples of conflicting interest may occur, but not exclusive, to the following circumstances:
• He/she is acting for another person with competing interests at the same time (e.g. advising both the landlord and tenant of a single commercial property simultaneously)
• He/she is faced with conflicting duties owed to different clients (e.g. acting for two or more parties competing for an opportunity).
Most property firms try to get around this issue by having a ‘Chinese wall’, whereby information concerning such transactions is not shared within the firm.
This does not sit comfortably with us, as our priority is looking after our client’s interest to advise the best strategy and to achieve the best deal on their behalf without any ‘get out of jail free cards’.
We act exclusively for tenants and are proud of our model. This ensures we avoid any conflict of interest issues, as we are better relating to the exact needs and concerns expressed by our occupier clients, most typically achieving the best possible rental terms for our clients.