Breach of Trust

This week’s ‘challenges’ after discovering the cannabis farm have left me musing on the nature of trust, and what happens after it has been breached in a professional capacity.

Earlier today, the lettings agent for one of our other properties, which has been vacant for a couple of weeks, called The Other Half. A potential tenant had viewed the property last week, liked it, and wanted to go ahead with the rental. However, circumstances changed, and now they wanted to move in quicker than anticipated – before all the references were in. With an elderly person of frail health involved, what does one do for the best?

When Trust is Broken

Our faith in human nature and in the overall goodness of tenants has been shaken this week, and it has left me in an over-cautious mood. Some might say paranoid.

The Other Half took it upon himself to meet with the prospective tenant to form his own judgement. Having satisfied himself as much as he can in the circumstances, we’ll go ahead.

Caution is always advisable when letting one’s property but over the years, with one or two exceptions, the majority of our tenants have been nice, decent folk who have looked after the property. In one or two cases, we took a gamble and decided to trust, and it all worked out fine.

This isn’t the first time that I have experienced a breach of trust in business. When it happens, it hurts. I don’t know about you, but I become more skeptical, maybe even a bit cynical. Which is not very nice, really.

Isn’t it sad when the consequences of one person’s (or group’s) bad or illegal behaviour have a knock-on effect on someone who might be deserving of your trust?

A few months ago, I wrote an essay on integrity (for a PGC, not for fun!) so thought long and hard on the subject. For me, part of operating and working with integrity is to act in a way that engenders trust, and to trust others. A breach of that trust causes me – and possibly others – to retreat, to look out for my own interests above all , and to protect what is mine. It is arguably a more selfish approach as the focus switches inward.

When trust is broken, the process of learning to trust has to start all over again.

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