Code of Ethics and Responsibilities for Realty Service Practitioners in the Philippines
The Realty Service Practice, a profession, calling or occupation is dedicated to the promotion, development and conservation of land and natural resources, including improvements and rights and interest appurtenant thereto for the benefit and enjoyment of the Filipino people. As such, those engaged therein are bound by a code of conduct, morals, and values in the performance of their duties and obligations towards the government, co-practitioners and the people they serve.
It is, therefore, imperative and necessary to adopt this NATIONAL CODE OF ETHICS FOR THE REALTY SERVICE PRACTICE to govern the role of conduct of those who will engage therein.
ARTICLE l. DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
Sec. 1. The Realty Service Practice is noble profession, calling or occupation and those engaged therein shall abide by and comply with all the laws, decrees, orders and rules and regulations enacted or promulgated by duly constituted government authorities.
Sec. 2. Utmost fidelity, sincerity and honesty shall be observed at all times by those in the Realty Service Practice in their relation with the client, the community and the nation in general.
Sec. 3. Adequate knowledge, competence and expertise in real estate development and management shall be maintained; and the upgrading of the standards of practice shall be effected when the need arise, all these for, and in the interest of the social and economic progress of the country.
Sec. 4. The spirit of camaraderie, cooperation and professional relationship among the practitioners shall be promoted; and every organization to which they shall be encouraged to join shall have such aims and purposes as will set up, upgrade, and maintain a high level of integrity, honesty and competence in the profession for the best interests of the community and the nation.
Sec. 5. A high level of professional relationship with colleagues in the Realty Service Practice shall be maintained, and their dealings with each other shall always be fair, honest and just.
Sec. 6. The Golden Rule which reads “ Treat others as you like them to treat you” shall be observed in all the dealings and relation of the practitioners with clients, fellow practitioners, the organization to which they belong, and the general public.
ARTICLE ll –SCOPE AND PURVIEW OF THE CODE
Sec. 1. As used in this code and for the purpose hereof, the Realty Service Pratice shall embrace and include all persons, partnership or corporations who are duly licensed by the Bureau of Domestic Trade in accordance with Sec. 3 (e) & (ee) of Act. No. 2728 as amended by Act. No. 3715 & 3969 and Ministry Order No. 39, such other practitioners as the Director of Domestic Trade may now or hereafter license pursuant to any law, rule or regulation that may be promulgated by the government. They shall be called Realty Service Practitioners hereinafter known as Practitioners.
ARTICLE lll –RULE OF CONDUCT AND PRACTICE
The practitioners shall be governed by the following rules of conduct and practice.
Sec. 1 – RELATION TO THE GOVERNMENT
- The practitioner should secure all the necessary Licenses, permits and authority from the Bureau of Domestic Trade and other government agencies as may be required by law, ordinance or rules and regulations and comply with all the requirements thereof engaging in the same.
- He should pay any and all taxes, fees, dues, levies or charges that the government may impose in accordance to law, ordinance, or rules and regulations.
- He should help, assist and cooperate with the Bureau of Domestic Trade and all government agencies and instrumentality in the promotion, development and conservation of lands and other natural resources, its improvements and rights and interest therein.
- He should not encourage, abet, tolerate or participate in the evasion or illegal reduction in the payment of all taxes, fees dues, levies or charges that may be imposed by the government.
- He should not offer or agree to pay, to split or rebate any commission, fee or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly with any person who is not a duly licensed practitioners or to cooperate, assist or endorse any transaction or engagement or other announcement in relation to the Realty Service Practice.
Sec. 2 –RELATION TO THE PUBLIC
- The practitioner should be imbued with a social conscience for he does not live by himself and his family alone but he is a part of society with definite social responsibilities.
- He should ensure the highest and best use of the land and the equitable distribution of ownership, irrespective of political beliefs, cultural background, sect, religion or class.
- He should keep himself well informed as to any movement affecting real estate in his community, city or province, so that he may be able to contribute to public thinking on matters of taxation, land use, city planning and other programs of the government.
- He should cooperate with the government in protecting the public against deceptive, unfair and inconciable (not in good conscience) acts and practices of some unscrupulous or unlicensed practitioners, like fraud, misrepresentation, concealment of relevant information and other related unethical practices.
- He should ascertain all pertinent facts concerning every property and avoid error, exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts.
- He should not be instrumental in introducing in a neighborhood a certain character or use of property which will tend to impair or erode property values within that neighborhood.
- He should not be a party to the naming of a false consideration in a deed or instrument.
- He should keep a special bank account separate and distinct from his own funds, all monies received in trust for other person, such as deposit in escrow, trust funds, client’s money and similar items.
- In his advertisements, brochures or announcements, he should present a true picture of the property, its improvements, or rights and interest therein including whatever liens or encumbrances it may have, if any and should indicate his name, firm name, address and license number.
- He should see to it that all agreement, terms and conditions, financial obligations and commitments in a real estate transaction are in writing, duly signed by all parties concerned and if necessary, to be properly authenticated by a Notary Public.
Sec. 3 – RELATION TO THE CLIENT/CUSTOMER
- The practitioner, in accepting an appointment or authority to act for and in behalf of a client or customer should pledge himself with utmost fidelity and good faith to protect and promote the interest of his client without, in any manner, sacrificing the legitimate interest of the other party in the transaction.
- For the sake of justice and fairness to his client who have reposed confidence in him, the practitioner should endeavor to be well informed of current legislation, policies and programs of the government including proposed legislation, which may affect the interest of his client.
- He should not accept any commission, fee or any valuable consideration from any party in any transaction except from his client unless with the full knowledge and consent of all the parties in the transactions.
- He should charge or collect only such fees or commission which is fair and reasonable in accordance with local practice in similar transactions.
- He should not acquire an interest in or buy for himself or members of his family within the fourth civil degree, his firm or any member thereof or a corporation or partnership In which he or his relatives within the fourth civil degree have at least 20% property interest, without making his true position known to the owner, buyer or seller.
- He should not advertise any property without and in any offering, the price quoted should be in accordance with the price agreed with the owners as the offering price.
- In the event that more than one formal offer on a specific property is made before the owner has accepted a proposal, all written offers should be presented to the owner for his decision.
- He should endeavor to make his client and customer conclude fair contract advantageous to both
- He should assist his customer acquire possession and ownership of the property bought in accordance with the terms and conditions agreed upon.
- In case he is called upon to act as witness in a court proceeding he should give his testimonies in the most unbiased, honest, truthful and professional manner.
- As a real estate appraiser, he should not render an opinion without a careful and thorough analysis and interpretation of all factors affecting the value of the property. His counsel and advice constitutes a professional service for which he should make a fair and reasonable charge.
- As an appraiser, he should not undertake to make an appraisal or render an opinion that is outside the field of his experience and competence unless he obtains the assistance of another practitioner familiar with such type of property or unless the facts are fully disclosed by the client.
Sec. 4 – RELATION TO FELLOW PRACTITIONERS
- He should not solicit a listing which is currently listed exclusively with another broker unless the listing agreement has expired or revoked by the owner and the owner offers to list the same to the new broker without soliciting the same.
- When he accepts a listing from another broker, the agency of the broker who offers the listing should be respected until it has expired and the property has come to the attention of the accepting broker from a different source, or until the owner without solicitations, offers to list with the accepting broker. Such a listing should not be passed to a third broker without the knowledge and consent of the listing broker.
- Signs giving notice of a property for sale, ease or exchange should not be placed on any property by more than one broker and only if authorized by the owner.
- He should not use information obtained by him from listing broker through offers to cooperate or receive through multiple listing services or sources authorized by the listing broker for the purpose of creating a referral prospect to a third broker or for creating a buyer’s prospect, unless such use is authorized by the listing broker.
- He should cooperate with other brokers on property listed and share the commission on an agreed basis. Negotiations concerning property listed exclusively with one broker should be carried with the listing broker, and not the owner, except with the consent of the listing broker.
- He should not solicit or use the services of an employee or salesman of another practitioner without the knowledge of the employer.
- He should not criticize publicly a competitor nor volunteer an opinion of a competitor’s transaction. If his opinion is sought, it should be rendered with professional integrity and courtesy.
- The practitioners should seek no unfair advantage ever his fellow practitioners and should willingly share with them the lessons of his experience and study.
- He should conduct his business property to avoid any controversy with his fellow Practitioners. In the event of a controversy between Practitioners belonging to the same organization or association, such controversy should be submitted for arbitration to such organization or association whose decision, if accepted by both parties will be final and binding as far as the association is concerned.
- If the controversy is between Practitioners belonging to different organizations or associations, it should be submitted to an Arbitration Board consisting of one member from each organization or association chosen by each of the parties to the controversy. A thirds member shall be chosen by members previously chosen from either organization or association or from the national association where the parties to the controversy are affiliated.
- In case the practitioners who are parties to a controversy are not members of any duly recognized organization or the Arbitration Board cannot settle the controversy, the Bureau of Domestic Trade shall assume jurisdiction over said controversy.
- In case a complaint is filed against a practitioner with his organization or association for the unethical or unfair practice, he should voluntarily submit all pertinent facts before an investigating body that may be formed by his organization or association for evaluation and resolution.
Sec. 5 – RELATION TO HIS ORGANIZATION INCLUDING THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION TO WHICH HIS ORGANIZATION IS AFFILIATED.
- In the interest of society and his own profession, calling or occupation, the practitioner should abide by the Constitution and By-laws of his Association or Organization and National Association to which it is affiliated.
- Elections as officer or member of the governing body of the organization or association carry with it the moral obligation to serve honorably, unselfishly, diligently. It should not be the subject of election campaigning, or use of letters or circulars announcing one’s candidacy or appealing for votes for himself or for other nominees or candidates or other form of electioneering or any agreement or any act which will interfere with the free and wise choice of the officers and member of the governing body of the organization.
- He should support his organization morally and financially and actively support its plans, programs and projects for the benefit of all members of the organization or association.
ARTICLE lV –SANCTIONS
Violation of any provisions of this code shall give rise to any sanction that may be imposed by the organization to which a practitioner belongs as a member, without prejudice, however to disciplinary action that the Director of Domestic Trade may deem expedient thereon when the proper complaint against the erring practitioner for alleged misconduct is filed with Bureau in accordance with existing rules and regulations.