Ethical question?

Bob Hubbard

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Aug 4, 2001
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Land of the Free
Say you are maintaining a piece of property for someone. They let you know they don't know if they want to continue using the property. You tell your partner that you will take care of things for the month or two needed for them to decide what to do. You then transfer the title/deed into your name and pay the annual fees associated with it with the understanding that if your partner decided not to continue that the property would become yours.It is a gentlemens agreement in that it is verbal, not writen.

At the end of the two months time period, your partner surprises you by asking you to give the keys to someone else as they will now be the new manager of the property.

What do you do?
Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz
What do you do?

Kick myself in the *** for going into a gentleman's agreement
when it comes to business.

If this guy was a friend, then ignore the above comment. In that
case, I'd take my lumps, try to not let it prevent me from trusing
friends in the future, and terminate the friendship with
this "partner".
Didn't your partner consent to the title transfer? Did your partner understand what that implies? It doesn't make sense to transfer the title of a property to someone and then tell him to hand the key over to someone else.
if the title is in your name, and "gentlemens agreement" was that if they were not going to use it it would become yours.. than I would tactfully negotiate the point that it realy is yours.

but like kirk said if it's a freind than everything is diffrent..

In my opinion it wasn't fair of your partner to "give" the land to someone else when A: it was understood that it would be yours and B: it legaly is yours..

It realy deppends on what you see in the future of your relationship with this person, if you deal with this person a fair amount than obviously keeping it wether or not they agree isn't gona make things easy for that relationship, and on the otherhand you have to consider if this kind of thing will happen in the future..

for me personaly even if it was a freind though I would do as they asked it would mark the end of any buisness dealings with them. And if it wasn't a freind I would explain that that wasn't part of the "contract" and that legaly the property is yours.
Its all 'hypethetical'. ;)

But, for the sake of argument, lets say it was a business relationship, with the agreement verbal only. Future relationship in all likelyhood is nil in any event.

Here's my 'thoughts' on this:
I would tell them why I feel slighted, sign the thing back over, and then walk away. The professional relationship of many years would be at an end, as would any 'goodwill' that had built up over the years of the relationship.

Did they consent? yes
Did they understand? definately not
Kick self in *** for trusting? Hell yeah. (Makes a note- signed in triplicate, and thats just the bathroom pass....) :D
Friend? Was thought of as less a 'business relation' and more an 'aquantence'.

So, at this point, do you take your lumps and walk away, or say 'screw im' and hope they don't damage your reputation for handling property in the future?

Like I said, its an ethical exercize, but I'm curious on others input.

Thanks for the feedback. :)

well in my opinion if you have an agreement verbal or otherwise and he wants to go back on it, and in addition the property in question has your name on it. I would say you have very good leverage to get across your point of view.

I personaly would sit down with the person and talk it over because going back on your word just isn't right and wether or not you give the property back you have got to make it clear to the guy.

If it was me I would basiclytell the other guy to explain why I had to sign it over and tell me what heppened to "void" the previous agreement.
Only my thoughts but the agreement was that he could have the property back when he was able( within the agreed time limit) Not that I would like the agreement but signing the property back over would be with what was agreed on originaly.
However if you had been partners. to me that implys you had some control and or money involed befor the first transfer there for maybe a disscussion on money or reimbursement might be in the works befor any handing over to a new third party.

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