Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

The Columbia Society of Real Estate Appraisers Inc. Code of Ethics
 

As Amended March 29, 2022


This Code of Ethics of the Columbia Society of Real Estate Appraisers Inc. (Society) is designed to be a guide for the members of the Society and as a basis for disciplinary action when the conduct of a member falls below the required minimum standards of the Society. The Society promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness, integrity and collaboration. To this end all members are expected to act with honesty and transparency in all dealings with one another and as representatives of the Society.

Appraiser members are required to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), which is the generally recognized national criterion of ethical and performance standards for appraisers, and with State requirements for appraiser licensing and continuing education, with special emphasis on USPAP, fair housing/lending and other required appraiser continuing education topics.

Broker members are required to comply with the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics, which is the generally recognized national standard of ethical and performance standards for real estate professionals, and with State requirements for real estate licensing and continuing education, with special emphasis on fair housing, ethics and other required real estate continuing education topics.

All members are required to adhere to the federal Fair Housing Act (of 1968), which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.

Members of the Board of Governors (Board), elected and ex officio, are required to abide by the Society’s Mission Statement, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Conflict of Interest Policy and Code of Ethics when performing their duties with respect to the Society.

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH CODE AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Each member is obligated to cooperate with the Society and its officers in all matters that affect the Society’s good name and reputation including investigation, censure, discipline or dismissal of members who are charged with violation of the Society’s Constitution and Bylaws or this Code of Ethics. A member having knowledge of an act of another member that is a violation has the obligation to report the matter to the President of the Society.

The President of the Society shall refer a complaint against any member to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee, who shall notify in writing the member against whom the complaint has been filed, advising of the specific violation alleged, with a request that a written explanation concerning the circumstances of such complaint be submitted within 30 days.

CODE OF ETHICS OF THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY 2022

After considering the complaint and the member’s explanation, the Society’s Ethics Committee shall determine whether there is a reasonable basis for concluding that a possible violation occurred. If such a basis is found, the Chairman of the Ethics Committee shall inform the member in writing that an investigation is being initiated and shall inquire whether the member elects to be bound by the findings of the Ethics Committee or to have a hearing before an Inquiry Panel (Panel).

In the event that the member agrees to be bound by the findings of the Ethics Committee without a hearing, the Ethics committee will complete its investigation and make a complete report in writing with its recommendations to the President within 60 days of the member’s waiver of hearing. The President shall forward a copy of the Committee’s findings and recommendations to the member involved and to the Board of Governors for such action as the Board may deem appropriate.

In the event that the member elects to appear at a hearing, the President shall appoint an Inquiry Panel, consisting of three designated members, one selected by the President to be Chairman of the Panel, one by the member charged with the complaint and the third member selected by the first two. The Ethics Committee shall be responsible to the Panel for the presentation of all matters pertinent to the alleged violation. The member charged with the violation shall be entitled to be present at the hearing with or without counsel and shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to present such evidence or testimony as may be deemed appropriate.

The hearing shall be held at a place, time and date to be determined by the Chairman of the Inquiry Panel within 40 days of the appointment of the Panel. The Panel shall notify the President of its findings and recommendations in writing, who shall in turn mail a copy to the member and to the Board of Governors.

The Board shall review the findings and recommendations of the Ethics Committee or the Inquiry Panel, as the case may be, and shall determine if the record of the complaint constitutes a finding of conduct contrary to or in violation of the Society’s Constitution and Bylaws or its Code of Ethics. If three quarters of the membership of the Board present when the matter is considered shall so find, the Board may in its discretion impose one or more of the following on the member: a letter from the Board to the member setting forth its suggestions for remedying the violation, a letter of censure to the member, a suspension of the member’s membership for a period of up to one year, an expulsion of the member from the Society.

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