Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors
(a) Home inspectors shall exhibit honesty and integrity in furtherance of the honor of the home inspection
profession. A home inspection has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all home buyers. In
performing home inspection services, home inspectors shall adhere to the highest principles of ethical
(b) This Code of Ethics and Regulations reflects the current ethical standards for home inspectors. It is
the department’s intention that this document be a living document and that changes and updates to this
Code of Ethics and Regulations be made as deemed necessary by the department in consultation with the
Home Inspection Council.
(c) Home inspectors shall fully adhere to and comply with the provisions of Article 12-B of the Real
Property Law and all regulations promulgated thereunder including, but not limited to, this Code of Ethics
and Regulations and the Standards of Practice.
(d) Home Inspectors shall be required to cooperate with investigations by the Department of State. Each
applicant or licensee shall be obligated, on request of the Secretary of State, to supply such information as
may be required concerning his, her or its business, business practices or business methods, or proposed
business practices or methods.
(a) Prior to performing a home inspection, home inspectors shall provide a client with a written preinspection
agreement that clearly and fully describes the scope of service to be provided and the cost
associated with that service. All said contracts shall contain the following clauses which shall be printed in
type size of not less than six point:
“Home inspectors are licensed by the NYS Department of State. Home Inspectors may only report on
readily accessible and observed conditions as outlined in this pre-inspection agreement, Article 12 B of the
Real Property Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder including, but not limited to, the Code of
Ethics and Regulations and the Standards of Practice as provided in Title 19 NYCRR Subparts 197-4 and
197-5 et seq. Home inspectors are not permitted to provide engineering or architectural services.”; and
“If immediate threats to health or safety are observed during the course of the inspection, the client hereby
consents to allow the home inspector to disclose such immediate threats to health or safety to the property
owner and/or occupants of the property.”
(b) Home inspectors shall discuss the scope of the inspection with the client and only perform services
which have been duly authorized by the client.
Home inspectors shall not disclose to a third party the contents of a home inspection report or any
observations, deductions, opinions that pertain to a home inspection report without the prior consent of the
client or the client’s representative.
Unlicensed and Unlawful Activity
(a) Home inspectors shall not engage in, knowingly permit or aid and abet, unlicensed or activity that is
prohibited by Article 12-B of the Real Property Law or the regulations promulgated thereunder.
(b) In the event that a client insists upon a home inspector engaging in unlawful and/or unethical conduct,
the home inspector shall, after notice to the client that such conduct is unlawful or unethical, be permitted
to immediately withdraw from the assignment or contract.
(c) Home inspectors shall not determine property boundary lines or encroachments, easements or any
limitations of use of the property.
(d) Home inspectors shall not determine compliance with regulations, codes, laws or ordinances.
(e) Home inspectors shall not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.
(a) Except as provided in section 197-4.6 and 197-5.2(c), home inspectors shall conduct home inspections
in compliance with the Standards of Practice.
(b) Home inspectors shall not accept or perform services in which the home inspector knows or has reason
to know that he or she is not competent to perform.
(c) Home inspectors shall not delegate responsibility to another when the home inspector delegating such
responsibility knows or has reason to know that such person is not a duly licensed home inspector and/or
qualified by training and experience to perform said task.
(a) Home inspectors shall provide a written report containing the results of a home inspection.
(b) Home inspectors shall not willfully make a false report or false or misleading statements in the context
of home inspection activities and/or a home inspection report.
(c) The home inspection report shall clearly identify the systems and components of the residential
building that were observed. If a home inspector is providing a home inspection that does not meet the
minimum requirements as set forth in the Standards of Practice, the home inspection report must describe
the scope of work, the services provided, and the systems and components that were included in and
excluded from the inspection.
Conflicts of Interest
(a) The duty of every home inspector shall be to the client. Home inspectors shall avoid conflicts of
interest or activities that compromise their professional objectivity, or have the potential of creating an
appearance that their professional objectivity has been compromised.
(b) Prior to accepting any home inspection assignment, home inspectors shall disclose to the potential
client all known or potential conflicts of interest that could influence or appear to influence the home
inspector’s judgment or the quality of the home inspector’s services.
(c) Home inspectors shall not solicit or accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one
interested party for a home inspection unless the circumstances are fully disclosed to the client and agreed
upon by all interested parties.
(d) Home inspectors shall not solicit or accept an assignment or contract from a
governmental body on which a principal or officer of the home inspector’s office
or organization serves as a member.
(e) Home inspectors shall not directly or indirectly compensate, in any way, real estate brokers, real estate
salespersons, real estate brokerage companies, lending institutions or any other party or parties that expect
to have a financial interest in closing the transaction, for future referrals of inspections or for inclusion on a
list of recommended inspectors or preferred providers or any similar arrangement.
(f) Home inspectors shall not accept financial or other consideration, such as material or equipment, from
suppliers for suggesting the use of, or promoting a specific product in the course of performing a home
(g) In connection with performing home inspections, home inspectors shall not accept commissions, fees
or other consideration directly or indirectly from contractors or other persons or entities dealing with clients
or employers of the home inspector in connection with work for which the inspector is responsible for, or
has reported upon.
(h) Home inspectors shall not inspect any residential building in which said home inspector or relative
thereof has a financial interest or any interest in the transfer thereof, including the receipt of any
commission as an agent.
(i) Home inspectors shall not inspect a home if the home inspector’s compensation is contingent upon the
sale of the home or if compensation is contingent upon the results of the home inspection.
Fraud, Misrepresentation and Dishonesty
Home inspectors shall not engage in fraud, fraudulent activity, misrepresentation or dishonesty.
Promotion and Advertising
(a) Home inspectors shall not advertise in a false, misleading or deceptive manner.
(b) Home inspectors shall not falsify or misrepresent their experience, education or qualifications or permit
any such misrepresentation by their employees or associates.
(c) Home inspectors shall not advertise home inspection services as an engineer or architect or under the
heading of engineers, engineering, architects or architecture in any form of print or electronic media unless
the individual and/or firm is licensed to provide engineering or architectural services by the New York
State Education Department.
(d) Home inspectors shall refrain from making any claim relating to the quality and effectiveness of
services which cannot be substantiated by the home inspector.
(e) Home inspectors placing or authorizing advertisements shall maintain or cause to be maintained an
exact copy of each advertisement for a period of one year following the advertisement’s last
publication. This copy shall be made available for inspection, upon request, by the Department or an
authorized representative of the Department.
(f) Nothing herein shall prohibit a home inspector from advertising his or her services or advertising for
the purpose of recruiting employees provided that no such advertisements shall be misleading or deceptive.