Being an agent

Agents are authorised to act on behalf of landlords. They can enter into binding contracts and materially affect the legal position of landlords. Agents are in a special legal position due to the reasonable presumption on the part of landlords that agents will act in the landlords' best interests, to the exclusion of others.

Estate agency businesses can be hit by low cash income during a period, through a seasonal down-cycle in business or through tardy client payments. To collect their fees, agents must be the effective cause of the transaction.

Where agents have the authority to contract as the agent for a landlord, they owe no liability or duty to third parties with whom they contract as the contract formed is that of the landlord and not the agent. Setting out the terms of contract clearly will prevent issues arising.

This section is maintained by Nikki Basin of Anthony Gold Solicitors.

Related content

RICS standards and guidance: Real estate agency and brokerage

RICS standards and guidance: Real estate management

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