View more on these topics

Comment: What are our moral obligations?

Edwards-Dave-Personal-Touch-2017

Maybe we should extend our remit to ensure decisions made by clients in areas outside our jurisdiction are the right ones

Cast your minds back to before the election and one topic was starting to dominate the papers: leaseholds. This age-old tenure that for so long had caused so little trouble it barely got a mention was suddenly all we could talk about.

New-build housing developments across the country were allegedly being sold as leasehold properties rather than freeholds – in some cases, without the buyer’s knowledge.

Details were buried in the small print of contracts and buyers who would not think to ask about the tenure of the property (why would they?) were signing on the dotted line without understanding the repercussions.

The whole thing got me thinking about brokers and our role in the housebuying process. Many of the reports around leasehold properties centred on buyers being kept in the dark, or at least feeling that way. Estate agents were not offering the information; developers were not being clear about it.

It made me consider whether we are good at meeting our professional obligations but perhaps not always at asking ourselves what our moral ones are.

Those agents who did not offer up the information were probably not asked about it. Professionally, they stayed within the rules. But should they have gone that extra mile and provided more detailed information, even if the customer did not require it?

Sometimes we are so bogged down with meeting the requirements of our roles that we do not have the time to do any more. But the majority of advisers are a conscientious bunch who want to do right by their client and not just by the regulator.

So do we need to be looking at what we can do outside our remit? Perhaps we need to ask more questions and ensure the decisions the client is making in areas outside our jurisdiction are the right ones.

Dave Edwards is commercial director at Personal Touch

Recommended

Legal-and-General-Duncombe-in-2013.jpg

Opinion piece: Never assume you know it all

Brokers must future-proof themselves by providing a holistic proposition and using technology to update and improve it Uncertainty has become the watchword for much of the global political and economic outlook over the past 12 months. Yet, despite a lack of certainty about the impact of events such as Brexit, last year was a strong […]

Percentages-Per-cent-Percent-Performance-700.jpg
1

Which way for mortgage rates in 2017?

Following an avalanche of rate cuts, the mortgage industry should brace itself for a possible upward turn as lender costs and inflation rise, experts advise The trend for mortgage rate cuts is coming to an end and both brokers and clients should prepare for hikes this year, according to industry experts. Meanwhile, lending giants including […]

Andrew Montlake-Coreco
1

Market Watch: Revenge of the Remainers

I suspect markets, and therefore mortgage rates, will remain stable because any Brexit deal should now be much softer Prime Minister Theresa May’s unnecessary gamble – like that of her predecessor – means she may well be hung, drawn and quartered. Remember, this all started because David Cameron thought Ukip was a threat and panicked. […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up