Model Codes of Home Inspection Ethics
Ethics for Home Inspectors
- HOME INSPECTION ETHICS - CONTENTS: Ethics and ethical practices in building inspection professions and industries. Guide to codes of ethics for building professionalsLinks to copies of national and state code of ethics documents for home inspection and related professions
- POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about ethical practices & guidelines for home inspectors
Ethics in the home inspection profession (or "industry" as it is less-professionally called):
This is a public, consumer information document describing the code of ethical behavior required for professional home inspectors in the United States.
Because ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors was the first and is the oldest home inspection "professional society" we include reference to ASHI's ethical codes here. Since the 1990's many U.S. States have enacted home inspector licensing laws and some of those states include a code of ethics for home inspectors under the aegis of state licensing. Examples are included here.
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Ethics is not an "Optional" Behaviour that Can be Declared "Not to Apply"
During an ethics committee report to the national board of directors of a professional association board meeting in the 1990's a board member objected to the findings and observed that "ethics does not apply in this case - it's just business". The remark may have sprung from a well-intended motive of generosity, but it illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding about the role and nature of ethics in society and business.
Contrary to the board member's' statement,
the application of rules of ethical behavior cannot be optionally "turned on or off" at
the will of an individual.
The principles of ethical conduct are always present, and judgements about whether or not conduct is ethical always apply
in all situations.
An individual or company can choose to follow ethical
business practices or not. But it cannot choose to declare that "ethics does not apply."
Similarly, a professional association can decide to enforce its code of ethics, or not,
in a given situation. But it is incoherent and thus impossible for an association to
state that "ethics does not apply." - Daniel Friedman, prior chairman, ASHI National
Ethics and Standards Committees.
Examples of Codes of Ethics for Home Inspectors
ASHI Code of Ethics
Because ASHI's ethics committee continues to meet and review ethical guidelines
for the profession, a revised version of this particular ethics document may
be obtained from the American Society of Home Inspectors, at the ASHI HQ website www.ashi.com.
Other individual home inspection
associations and individual states may write their own codes of ethics.
OPINION: Readers will note that in comparison with the legislated State Code of Ethics above, this example of a professional association's code of ethics from 1993 is far more concise and less legalistic. The association consulted with professionals who had expertise in language and ethics (philosophy) as well as professional texts where business ethics are discussed. [Disclosure: the website editor DF was involved in that procedure as member and chair of the ASHI Ethics Committee.]
Honesty, justice, and courtesy form a moral philosophy which, associated
with mutual interest among people, constitutes the foundation of ethics.
The members should recognize such a standard, not in passive observance,
but in a set of dynamic principles guiding their conduct. It is their duty
to practice the profession according to this code of ethics.
As the keystone of professional conduct is integrity, the members will
discharge their duties with fidelity to the public, their clients, and with
fairness and impartiality to all. They should uphold the honor and dignity
of their profession and avoid association with any enterprise of questionable
character, or apparent conflict of interest.
- The member will express an opinion only when it is based on practical
experience and honest conviction.
- The member will always act in good faith toward each client.
- The member will not disclose any information concerning the results
of the inspection without the approval of the clients or their representatives.
- The member will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from
more than one interested party for the same service without the consent
of all interested parties.
- The member will not accept nor offer commissions or allowances, directly
or indirectly, from other parties dealing with their client in connection
with work for which the member is responsible.
- The member will promptly disclose to his or her client any interest
in a business which may affect the client. The member will not allow an
interest in any business to affect the quality of the results of their
inspection work which they may be called upon to perform. The inspection
work may not be used as a vehicle by the inspector to deliberately obtain
work in another field.
- An inspector shall make every effort to uphold, maintain, and improve
the professional integrity, reputation, and practice of the home inspection
profession. S/He will report all such relevant information, including violations
of this Code by other members, to the Association for possible remedial
© 1993 American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading at HOME INSPECTION STANDARDS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Or see HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION
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HOME INSPECTION ETHICAL CODES at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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- Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
- John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: email@example.com
- Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com 11/06
-  Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors, Department of State Division of Licensign Services, New York State, Addition of Subparts 197-4 and 197-5 to Title 19 NYCRR, SUBPART 197-4 CODE OF ETHICS AND REGULATIONS FOR HOME INSPECTORS, web search 4/11/2012, original source:
[Copy on file as NYS_Home_Inspector_Ethics.pdf]
-  HOME INSPECTION ETHICAL CODES - Code of Ethics for Home Inspectors - Amercian Society of Home Inspectors
-  NYSAHI Newsletter, April 2012, New York State Association of Home Inspectors, NYSAHI, website:
- Roger Hankey is principal of Hankey and Brown home inspectors, Eden Prairie, MN. Mr. Hankey is a past chairman of the ASHI Standards Committee. Mr. Hankey has served in other ASHI professional and leadership roles. Contact Roger Hankey at: 952 829-0044 - firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Hankey is a frequent contributor to InspectAPedia.com.
- Arlene Puentes, an ASHI member and a licensed home inspector in Kingston, NY, and has served on ASHI national committees (Bylaws, Standards), as well as HVASHI Chapter President. Ms. Puentes can be contacted at email@example.com
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
- The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Or choose the The Home Reference eBook for PCs, Macs, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or Android Smart Phones. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAEHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
- [Information about ASHI]
- [ASHI's Association Info]
- [ASHI Headquarters Website]
- Basement Moisture Control, U.S. Department of Energy
- Building Pathology, Deterioration, Diagnostics, and Intervention, Samuel Y. Harris, P.E., AIA, Esq., ISBN 0-471-33172-4, John Wiley & Sons, 2001 [General building science-DF] ISBN-10: 0471331724
- Building Pathology: Principles and Practice, David Watt, Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (March 7, 2008) ISBN-10: 1405161035 ISBN-13: 978-1405161039