Stephen Faughnan, Chairman, of the Irish Property Owners Association comments on the issue recently raised of placement fees being paid by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive
The move to pay agents a finder fee is concerning and disturbing. It has the potential to effect the normal selection process of finding the right tenant for a property. On employing an Agent there is an expectation that the Agent will advertise the property and will select the most appropriate tenant based on a number of criteria including ability to pay, references and suitability for the property.
The Placement Fee has the potential to cause conflict for Agents and introduces a worrying possible change to the marketing of properties. There is a relationship of trust between Landlords and Agents which is essential to the market. The IPOA call on the Dublin Region Housing Executive to desist from paying placement fees with immediate effect.
Release from Property Services Regulatory Authority
The Property Services Regulatory Authority is aware of media reports concerning an incentive to agents, and the payment of “placement fees” of €500 to agents who source private rental properties through the HAP scheme for qualified tenants who are currently residing in emergency accommodation. The Authority has serious concerns about this payment as reported and wishes to make licensees aware of a possible conflict of interest.
Licensees are expected to act in the best interests of their clients at all times. Licensees are advised to examine section 13 ‘Conflict of Interest’ of the current (Letter of Engagement / Contract for Service) available at www.psr.ie for the letting of property to satisfy themselves they are not involved in a conflict of interest, prior to accepting any payment from a third party.
Where a licensee has been engaged by a landlord to let a property, it is important to remember that the landlord is the licensee’s client and it is the landlord’s best interests that the licensee must protect. Licensees who find themselves in receipt of payments or inducements from anybody other than their client may have a conflict of interest. All fees are payable by the licensee’s client ONLY. Fees normally payable by the client may not be passed on to another person and any provision to that effect in a Letter of Engagement is null and void.