August, 2010
Ethics
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Half of all Code of Ethics Questions Relate to Relationships With Realty Agents

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

When the Ethics Committee crossed-referenced the tenets of the current ASHI Code of Ethics with the published responses to requests for interpretation, more than half (34 of 64) related to 1.c:

"Inspectors shall not directly or indirectly compensate realty agents, or other parties having a financial interest in closing or settlement of real estate transactions, for the referral of inspections or for inclusion on a list of recommended inspectors, preferred providers, or similar arrangements."


On the other hand, there never has been a request to interpret 3.b:

"Inspectors shall report substantive and willful violations of this Code to the Society."


The cross-referencing project also included adding a citation to all the Requests for Interpretation, identifying on which part of the code the response was based. This information should make it easier for members to answer their own questions and for committee members to respond to future requests.

The following members of the Ethics Committee initiated and completed this project: Mike Sterling, chair; Larry Hoytt; Ken Salvo; Michael Hoberecht; and Bill Loden.

Visit the Code of Ethics RFI section of the ASHI website.


The ASHI® Code of Ethics For the Home Inspection Profession


 Effective on June 13, 2004

The ASHI Code of Ethics details the core guidelines of home inspection professionalism and home inspection ethics. Covering crucial issues such as conflicts of interest, good faith and public perception, these home inspection ethics are central pillars of home inspection professionalism for the entire industry.

Integrity, honesty and objectivity are fundamental principles embodied by this Code, which sets forth obligations of ethical conduct for the home inspection profession. The Membership of ASHI has adopted this Code to provide high ethical standards to safeguard the public and the profession.

Inspectors shall comply with this Code, shall avoid association with any enterprise whose practices violate this Code, and shall strive to uphold, maintain, and improve the integrity, reputation, and practice of the home inspection profession. (RFIs: e010112, e010212, e010330, e010905, e011024, e011120, e060221-2)

All inspector members of ASHI have agreed to abide by this Code of Ethics.

1. Inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise, or appear to compromise, professional independence, objectivity, or inspection integrity. (RFIs: e010803, e011127)

A. Inspectors shall not inspect properties for compensation in which they have, or expect to have, a financial interest.
(RFIs: e060221-3, e080822-1, e080922-2, e081203, e090312)

B. Inspectors shall not inspect properties under contingent arrangements whereby any compensation or future referrals are dependent on reported findings or on the sale of a property.  (RFIs: e010925, e010926, e060426, e061003)

C. Inspectors shall not directly or indirectly compensate realty agents, or other parties having a financial interest in closing or settlement of real estate transactions, for the referral of inspections or for inclusion on a list of recommended inspectors, preferred providers, or similar arrangements. (RFIs: e010112, e010212, e010330, e010517, e010626, e010701, e010813, e010905, e010911, e010926, e011129, e011205, e020419, e020528, e021002, e050530, e060217, e060221-1, e060419-2, e060605, e060706, e060718, e060720, e061102-1, e061102-2, e080106, e080318, e080429, e080527a, e081012, e090216, e090217, e090225, e090331)

D. Inspectors shall not receive compensation for an inspection from more than one party unless agreed to by the client(s). (RFIs: e010404, e010925, e010926, e011105, e011129, e080404, e080527a, e081203, e090312)

E. Inspectors shall not accept compensation, directly or indirectly, for recommending contractors, services, or products to inspection clients or other parties having an interest in inspected properties. (RFIs: e010404, e011129, e060419-2, e080527a, e090331)

F. Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI Standards of Practice, for one year after the inspection. (RFIs: e011101, e060923, e070828, e080213, e081211, e080213, e090223)

2. Inspectors shall act in good faith toward each client and other interested parties.

A. Inspectors shall perform services and express opinions based on genuine conviction and only within their areas of education, training, or experience. (RFIs: e990513, e011101, e060221-3, e070828)

B. Inspectors shall be objective in their reporting and not knowingly understate or overstate the significance of reported conditions. (RFI: e060221-3)

C. Inspectors shall not disclose inspection results or client information without client approval. Inspectors, at their discretion, may disclose observed immediate safety hazards to occupants exposed to such hazards, when feasible.  (RFIs: e010731, e011105, e050322, e050322, e060329, e091020, e091020)

3. Inspectors shall avoid activities that may harm the public,
discredit themselves, or reduce public confidence in the profession. (RFIs: e011120, e060221-1, e060329, e060419-1, e061102-1, e061102-2, e080527a)

A. Advertising, marketing, and promotion of inspectors' services or qualifications shall not be fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading. (RFIs: e010926, e020305, e020502, e021002, e060217, e060221-1)

B. Inspectors shall report substantive and willful violations of this Code to the Society.