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Paying an arrangement fee for more business

Could paying a commission be construed as a bribe?

If I pay a residential property managing agent a commission of say, 2% of my fee to facilitate and arrange for me to do the stat accounts for each property would that be a valid commission? Can anyone see a problem with this arrangement? New to this.

As regards the AML Regs 2017, is it sufficient for me to have evidence of the identity of the property agent only?

All helpful answers gratefully received.  

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22nd Jan 2018 12:38

If you are a member of one of the accountancy bodies you might start off by looking at the relevant ethical guide.

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to The Innkeeper
22nd Jan 2018 13:37

Ditto for the property management agents, who should read their ARLA (or similar) guidelines.

Don't forget to charge the property management agents a £200 non-refundable set-up fee, and £100 each for obtaining references.

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By DJKL
22nd Jan 2018 14:26

Who are accounts for, to whom do you own a legal duty of care, the agent or the landlord? In effect who is your client?

Who is going to pay you, whilst the agent may actually pay you will that be using landlord monies (disbursement) or firm monies?

Is agent buying in your services and selling them to his landlords with a profit?

What do you mean by "stat accounts for each property"?

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to DJKL
23rd Jan 2018 01:25

Thanks for all your helpful replies.
Amounts involved would have been minimal (£30 fee to arrange for me to do the statutory accounts) but will not go ahead, having read CCAB case studies and SFO's guidance.
https://www.sfo.gov.uk/publications/guidance-policy-and-protocols/briber...
And yes of course my legal duty of care would have been to the directors and not the agent. Many thanks.

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22nd Jan 2018 15:16

Don't forget to get an invoice from the agent

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23rd Jan 2018 02:02

You haven't explained why properties need statutory accounts. What statute?

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to Tim Vane
23rd Jan 2018 07:51

These would be companies whose main asset is a ground lease.

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By DJKL
to Steadfast
23rd Jan 2018 10:07

So you would not do the stat accounts for each property as you state, it would be for each company;, some companies might hold more than one property.

Irrespective of the ethics/legals I would be doing hard disclosure to the directors of these companies (now my clients) re the commission I had paid to the agent, whilst my engagement letters only state I would do this re any commission I might earn from third parties I would be very uncomfortable with such an arrangement happening without my client being aware of the fact.

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to DJKL
23rd Jan 2018 12:25

Yes, I hadn't made that clear, it would be for each company.
Excellent advice, thanks so much.

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