Why did Neville Chamberlain so poorly judge Adolf Hitler? How did Bernie Madoff manage to pull off a $50 billion ponzi scheme? Why was Amanda Knox found guilty, innocent, guilty and then innocent?

I was reminded of these questions, (posed by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, ‘Talking to Strangers’), last week, when it was reported that a Kent based estate agent let 26 properties to different tenants, none of whom were met in person. The comments section in the news forums and on social media exploded with remarks suggesting how wrong this was, that the agent was acting irresponsibly, that it would all end in tears, for example: “Hope his PI is up to date and covered all the bases with duty of care. Letting a property is more than going through the paper process to get a let. They are supposed to be working for the landlord. The story suggests they didn’t meet the tenants and good agents know what that can lead to.”

But do they? Does an agent have the powers to be able to detect a wrong’un? What if the agent was actually exercising his duty of care more effectively by not meeting them?

Only if you’re prepared to have one of your deeply held beliefs challenged then read on, if not then don’t click the link.

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