April, 2009
Ethics
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Pest Control Company Questions

BILL LODEN

The ASHI Code of Ethics Committee is charged with developing ethics education and awareness for ASHI members and answering Requests for Interpretation (RFI) of our Code of Ethics.

When serious questions arise about the intent and applicability of the revised code, members are encouraged to review previous requests and responses on the ASHI Members Only Web site under Resources. If there has not been a request for an interpretation to a similar situation, please submit your question using the required RFI form, which can be found under Downloads/ASHI Forms & Documents. We will continue to provide the members with the committee’s response to the questions posed by their fellow home inspectors. This response is based on the new Code of Ethics, approved in June 2004.

— Bill Loden, chair, 2009 ASHI Code of Ethics Committee





Request for Interpretation
E-070623 Pest Control Company/Home Inspection Company

Can we own a pest control company and home inspection company? Can our home inspection company recommend our pest control company?

Response

Owning more than one company does not violate the Code of Ethics. It is also not a violation of the Code of Ethics for the inspector to recommend a pest control company for inspection purposes, whether owned by the home inspector or not. But, it is a wise ethical practice to disclose to all appropriate parties that the pest control company is under the same ownership.

Remediation performed by the inspector’s company, or recommending the remediation services of the home inspector’s pest control company, based on home inspection findings, is a violation of the Code. The Code states in part that, “Inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise, or appear to compromise, professional independence, objectivity, or inspection integrity.” It could clearly compromise inspection integrity to profit from the discovery of defects. Please note that the Code of Ethics does allow the home inspector to recommend a repair contractor as long as there is no financial incentive to do so.

Request for Interpretation
e070830 Working with a pest control company

Would it violate the CoE if a pest company bundled my inspection services with their pest inspections?  The client would pay me directly for my services, no money would change hands between my company and the pest company, and I would not be required to recommend the pest company. 

Response

Combining services with other companies that offer a similar class of real estate services would not appear to present a significant conflict of interest situation or a violation of the Code of Ethics.  Care should be taken to ensure that client information is not shared with a partner company without express client approval, and that any home inspection findings related to pest observations are unbiased.