Know Your Code of Professional Ethics: Complying with Fiscal Property Lines

Article excerpt

AS PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGERS, WE STRIVE TO MAINTAIN AND ENHANCE OUR CLIENTS' PROPERTIES IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH THE OWNERS' GOALS AND OBJECTIVES. On a daily basis this means dealing with tenants, vendors, contractors, guests and invitees, and maybe even our own employees and co-workers.

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This requires a full set of competencies, including interpersonal, mediation, technical and negotiation skills, along with a host of others. In short, managing properties is a full day's work, and frequently more.

Often in this both proactive and reactive environment, the "paperwork" gets pushed aside. Certainly rents are deposited, tenant accounts are updated, vendors are paid, and all the key transactions that keep properties operating are performed, but the summarizing and reporting can become a lower priority.

The reporting aspect of property management is often considered one of the least pleasant. It doesn't call upon our interpersonal and technical skills, which are typically the real strengths of most managers. Still, the importance of reporting responsibilities cannot be lost, just because it's not enjoyable.

Article 3 of the IREM Code of Professional Ethics addresses the financial reporting requirement. Accumulating timely, accurate financial and business data is required of IREM Members. Furthermore, this data shall be available at all reasonable times to our owner clients and reported to clients at agreed upon intervals. That means our day-to-day activities to manage properties must include the time to document transactions and summarize the results.

The majority of cases alleging violations of this Article involve the co-mingling of client funds with personal funds and a failure to reconcile. …