Know the Code:View the ASHI Code of Ethics
Know the Standard of Practice:View the ASHI Standard of Practice ASHI Standard of Practice
When a member performs a home inspection, what fee-paid services does the ASHI Code of Ethics (Item 1F) prohibit him or her from performing?
Item 1F of the ASHI Code of Ethics states:
1. Inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise, or appear to compromise, professional independence, objectivity, or inspection integrity. …
2. Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI Standards of Practice, for one year after the inspection.
The purpose of this prohibition is to ensure that a home inspection and a report are not used to generate compensation for certain services that represent a conflict of interest and could harm a consumer. These services involve repairs, replacements or upgrades performed by an ASHI member on a home that the same ASHI member inspected. The ASHI member is prohibited from providing these services for compensation.
Compensation refers to any reward or consideration paid for services rendered, whether money or otherwise. The prohibition refers to repairs, replacements or upgrades to all systems and components covered by the ASHI Standard of Practice, regardless of their condition. Services other than repairs, replacements or upgrades to systems and components covered by the ASHI Standard of Practice are not prohibited.
Repairs, replacements or upgrades to systems and components beyond the scope of the ASHI Standard of Practice are not prohibited. The prohibition lasts one year. The one-year period begins on the day the home inspection begins and expires one year after the home inspection ends.
Is it a conflict of interest for an inspector to perform a pre-listing inspection for a seller and then, with the seller’s permission, provide a buyer of the property with the home inspection report, charge the buyer a fee to walk through the property and check that items noted in the report were repaired?
The Code of Ethics does not prohibit an inspector from performing a pre-listing inspection for the seller and then later, for a fee and with the consent of the seller, consulting with the buyer on items identified in the original report as needing repair. Item 1D in the Code states that inspectors shall not receive compensation for an inspection from more than one party unless agreed to by the client(s). The question addressed here describes full disclosure and agreement between the parties involved.
Can an ASHI member perform safety inspections or other inspections and use these inspections to generate referrals for contractors who are willing to pay a referral fee to the inspector?
Part of our responsibility to our clients is to provide advice and counsel based on our professional judgment. The client must be able to rely on the inspector to provide that advice based on the best interest of the client, not based on the payment of a referral fee or some other inducement. Limited inspections on homes must still be performed in accordance with the ASHI Code of Ethics. Accepting referral fees in the case described here is prohibited.