Maintaining the Amo Code of Professional Ethics

Article excerpt

IF YOU ARE THE EXECUTIVE CPM OF AN AMO FIRM, YOU COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR UPHOLDING THE ETHICAL STANDARDS OF HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEES-ALL OF WHOM ARE SUBJECT TO THE SAME STANDARDS-WHETHER THEY ARE IREM MEMBERS OR NOT.

While conducting day-to-day business and being confronted with many challenges, it may be easy to make the right personal and business decisions based on ethical practices creating integrity and good reputation. But what if you are the Executive CPM of an ACCREDITED MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION (AMO) Firm? According to Article 1.6 of the Code, the AMO Firm is responsible for the conduct of its employees and Article 1.7 indicates that any action by an AMO Firm at any of its offices and any of its managed properties is subject to the Minimum Standards and Code of Professional Ethics.

Does that mean that secretaries, accountants, leasing agents, managers, maintenance/ janitorial staff and other nonmember staff employed or supervised by an AMO Firm are subject to the same Code of Professional Ethics? When it comes to the AMO Code of Professional Ethics, an AMO Firm is responsible for every employee - member or nonmember.

Recently, the IREM Ethics Board considered a complaint where nonmember leasing agents of an AMO Firm failed to warn apartment tenants of lead-based paint hazards. The AMO Firm and landlord agreed to pay civil penalties to the federal government and to remove lead paint from its affected units. Although the AMO Firm had company policy in place, some of its leasing agents failed to follow company policy. The Ethics Board determined that the AMO Firm had a legal and ethical duty to inform tenants of pre-1978 buildings about lead-based paint hazards, and that senior management of the AMO Firm was responsible to ensure the Firm's policies and procedures are followed by their leasing agents and employees. …