In this column, ASHI's Ethics Committee addresses dilemmas faced by home inspectors.
Know the Code:View the ASHI Code of Ethics
Know the Standard of Practice:View the ASHI Standard of Practice ASHI Standard of Practice
If I have a home repair business and also operate a home inspection business, and I do inspection-related repairs only if the inspection was done by an inspector other than myself, am I in compliance with the ASHI Code of Ethics?
The situation described is vague and prone to misinterpretation. According to the ASHI Code of Ethics, an individual may have an inspection business and a repair business and can repair properties inspected by others, but only as long as there is no connection between the two companies. So, if the inspection company had one of its inspectors inspect the property, there would be a conflict with the ASHI Code of Ethics if an employee of the home repair business did the repairs at the property, even if the repairs were completed by a different employee than the one who conducted the inspection.
When a home inspector performs a home inspection, what fee-paid services does Item 1F of the ASHI Code of Ethics prohibit the home inspector 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.
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.
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, completed by an ASHI member, to a home inspected by the same ASHI member. 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 Standards of Practice are not prohibited.
Repairs, replacements or upgrades to systems and components beyond the scope of the Standards 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.