The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has decided to clarify requirements for professionals and regulated firms working in areas such as land, property, construction and infrastructure.

RICS has now published a new British professional statement on any conflicts of interest for the commercial property investment market. This bans the controversial practice of dual agency, which is more commonly also known as double dipping.

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These new standards kick in from January 1 2018 and clearly state that the practice of dual agency must not be used under any circumstances.

The statement continues:

“For the avoidance of doubt, RICS members working within non-RICS regulated firms are subject to the same criteria as regulated firms when undertaking dual agency in the UK under any circumstances.”

This statement also covers a practice called multiple agency, where an estate agent is involved in competing contractual relationships at the same time with more than one buyer. Furthermore it also addresses the provision of growing advice, i.e. planning, building surveying and valuations in relation to a purchase or disposal.

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The development of this new standard came as a result of a lengthy consultation in which industry professionals as well as regulatory experts shared their views and concerns regarding the practice of dual agency.

This new solution aims to provide a higher level of confidence for investors and more clarity for RICS professionals.

Some of the biggest commercial property firms, such as SEGRO, JLL and CBRE has already openly voiced their support for the new guidelines.