AIPP ETHICAL CODE OF CONDUCT

  1. General

1.1 Members shall adhere to the highest standards of honesty and professional integrity both in their dealings with the public and in their dealings with each other.

1.2 Members shall conduct their affairs with integrity and dignity.

1.3 Members shall, in particular, refrain from misleading statements and exaggerated claims in their dealings with sellers, buyers and potential buyers.

1.4 Members shall take all possible steps to avoid conflicts of interests and shall decline to deal with any transaction where such conflicts arise.

2. Marketing & Sales

2.1 Members shall, if they are developers or sales agents, make it clear that they are or represent the Seller of a property. In any other case the Member must make clear their status and whose interests they represent. Members can download sample approved letters after logging-in to the Members area of the AIPP website.

2.2 Members shall always recommend the use of an independent lawyer for international property transactions.

2.3 Members shall not require potential buyers to sign binding preliminary purchase contracts without giving them reasonable opportunity to reflect on the contract and to obtain legal advice. Nothing in this rule shall prevent a Member securing the immediate signature of a reservation contract or similar under which a property is removed from the market for a defined period upon payment of a modest deposit and which does not irrevocably commit the buyer to the purchase of the property.

3. Legal

3.1 Members shall comply with all applicable local laws, including tax laws.

3.2 Members shall accept responsibility for all acts of their staff.

4. Relations with AIPP

4.1 Members shall comply with this Code of Conduct and with all rules made by AIPP.

4.2 Members shall respond promptly to correspondence from AIPP.

4.3 Members shall, upon request, provide AIPP with copies of any document relating to their dealings with any other person or their business practices which, in the opinion of AIPP, may be necessary in order to establish the Member’s compliance with his obligations under this code or in connection with the Dispute Resolution Procedure

5. Training

5.1 This provision is currently suspended until further notice: All Members, unless exempted by the Board on the basis of their proven previous experience, shall within 6 months of being accepted into membership satisfactorily complete an AIPP Basic Training Course.

5.2 This provision is currently suspended until further notice: All Business Members must within 12 months of being accepted into membership have at least one relevant representative satisfactorily complete the AIPP country specific training courses relevant to the areas in which they intend to deal with property.

5.3 This provision is currently suspended until further notice: All employees of Business Members engaged in sales activities must, within 4 months of taking up their appointment, pass an internal or external Basic Training Course approved by AIPP.

6. Dispute Resolution

6.1 All Members shall refer any disputes arising between Members to the Dispute Resolution Procedure.

6.2 All Business Members shall, at the outset of their relationship with a seller, buyer or other customer notify them of the existence of this Code of Conduct and of the Dispute Resolution Procedure through their AIPP membership and the associated Property Ombudsman scheme. The AIPP logo should be prominently displayed on member websites, promotional literature and in member offices to aid customer understanding.

6.3 If any dispute arises between a Member and any seller, buyer or other customer, the Member shall draw their attention to the existence of the Dispute Resolution Procedure and supply them with a copy of it.

6.4 If the seller, buyer or other customer wishes to do so, the Member shall agree to invoke and be bound by the Dispute Resolution Procedure.

7. Applicability

7.1 This Code of Conduct, unless the context otherwise requires, shall apply to all aspects of the Members’ activities in connection with International Real Estate including development, marketing, sales, resales, third party introductions and property management.

7.2 This Code of Conduct shall not limit any greater rights that a non-Member might enjoy under local law or otherwise.

In addition to the Code of Conduct, prospective members should read the AIPP Rules of Membership. Adherence to both the Code & the Rules is mandatory for members.

AIPP Rules of Membership

General
1. Interpretation
1.1 Terms used in these Rules which are defined in the Articles of Association shall have the same meaning as attributed to them in the Articles of Association.
1.2 Member shall mean any person or corporate entity admitted to any category of membership permitted under these Rules.
1.3 Sale shall include purchase and vice versa.
1.4 Staff means any person working for or under the control of a business, including employed persons, self employed contractors and any other person whom the business has the right to control.
1.5 The singular shall include the plural and the male the female.
1.6 Nothing in these Rules is intended to contradict the Articles of Association. Where there is contradiction between these (the Articles of Association and these Rules), the Articles of Association shall prevail.

Members
2. Categories of Membership
There shall be the following categories of membership:
2.1 Business Member (eg. Agents & Property Developers)
2.2 Associate Member (eg. Lawyers, Media, Financial Services)
2.3 Franchise Member (Franchiser Members & Franchisee Members)

Membership shall, at the entire discretion of the Directors, be open upon application to such persons as meet the following membership criteria:

2.1 Business Members

2.1.1 Business Members – with 3 years’ trading history

  • You qualify for membership providing:
  • You are an Estate Agent or Property Developer
  • You have been trading for 3 years or more
  • You hold all necessary qualifications and licenses in the country to which you belong and, if required, in the countries where the real estate is located.
  • You are of good-standing, pass our due diligence checks & provide a trade reference
  • You operate your business in accordance with AIPP Rules and Code of Conduct
  • You commit to resolve any client disputes, later (if the client so wishes), using our Dispute Resolution Procedure (included free in AIPP membership, there are no ongoing costs for either the member or their clients

2.1.2 Business Members – without 3 years’ trading history

You qualify for membership if you can show ‘extensive experience’, this means:

  • You are an Agent or Property Developer
  • You should have at least 5 years’ experience of the international property market. If sufficiently senior (Director or Senior Management) we may accept 3 years’ experience. Acceptance is at the discretion of AIPP, dependent upon particular circumstances.
  • You hold all necessary qualifications and licenses in the country to which you belong and, if required, in the countries where the real estate is located.
  • You are of good standing, pass our due diligence checks & provide a trade reference
  • You operate your business in accordance with AIPP Rules and Code of Conduct
  • You commit to resolve any outstanding client disputes, if the client so wishes, using our Dispute Resolution Procedure (included free in AIPP membership, there are no ongoing costs for either the member or their clients)

2.1.3 Business Members – No direct industry experience but with ‘other relevant experience’

AIPP recognises many property markets are unregulated, attracting professionals from other sectors looking for a change in direction, sometimes mid-career or later in life.

Without 3 years’ trading or 5 years’ experience of the international property market, you must show ‘other relevant experience’ to qualify for membership and show that your company plans, procedures and documents reflect the aims of the AIPP.

You qualify for membership providing:

  1. You are, or intend to, operate as either an Estate Agent or Property Developer
  2. You have at least 5 years’ experience in a senior industry position with similar skills required (eg. sales, marketing, business management, finance, law, land purchase)
  3. You supply documentation for review by AIPP, as follows:
    • A statement from the person operating the business explaining how the company’s plans and procedures reflect the aims of the AIPP.
    • Copies of the sales literature sent to clients (standard letters, brochures, property details).
    • Full professional background of person operating the business; CV or short career biography.
    • Phone number of referee (as trade reference) and permission for AIPP to call them.
    • Details on developments and / or developers with whom you work. This should include a summary of the due diligence undertaken on developments and developers.
    • Where permissable, list of 5 previous clients to contact regarding your service.
  4. You hold all necessary qualifications and licenses in the country to which you belong and, if required, in the countries where the real estate is located.
  5. You are of good standing, pass our due diligence checks & provide a trade reference
  6. You operate your business in accordance with AIPP Rules and Code of Conduct
  7. You commit to resolve any outstanding client disputes, if the client so wishes, using our Dispute Resolution Procedure (included free in AIPP membership, there are no ongoing costs for either the member or their clients)
  8. Acceptance is at the discretion of AIPP, dependent upon particular circumstances.

2.1.4 Business Membership shall survive any change in the constitution or ownership of the business provided that the business still meets the membership criteria.

2.2 Associate Members

2.2.1 Associate Members – 3 years’ trading history

Associate Membership is for Lawyers, Media, Financial Services & other specialist service providers. Estate Agents & Property Developers should refer to the Business Membership category.

You qualify for membership providing:

  • You have been trading for 3 years or more
  • You hold all necessary qualifications and licenses in the country to which you belong and, if required, in the countries where the real estate is located.
  • You are of good standing, pass our due diligence checks & provide a trade reference
  • You operate your businesses in accordance with AIPP Rules and Code of Conduct

2.2.2 Associate Members – without 3 years’ trading history

Associate Membership is for Lawyers, Media, Financial Services & other specialist service providers. Estate Agents & Property Developers should refer to the Business Membership category.

AIPP recognises that some companies, with a broad range of existing professional services, will set up a new company or division to trade specifically in the international property market. Various aspects of property markets are also unregulated, attracting professionals from other sectors. Both scenarios are often dependent upon global / local economic cycles.

You qualify for membership providing:

  1. You hold all necessary qualifications and licenses in the country to which you belong and, if required, in the countries where the real estate is located.
  2. You are of good standing, pass our due diligence checks & provide a trade reference
  3. You operate your business in accordance with AIPP Rules and Code of Conduct
  4. You supply documentation for review by AIPP, as follows:
    • A statement from the person operating the business explaining how the company’s plans and procedures reflect the aims of the AIPP.
    • Copies of the sales literature sent to clients (standard letters & brochures).
    • Full professional background of person operating the business; CV or short career biography.
    • Phone number of referee (as trade reference) and permission for AIPP to call them.
    • Where permissible, list of 5 previous clients to contact regarding your service.
  5. Acceptance is at the discretion of AIPP, dependent upon particular circumstances.

2.2.3 Associate Membership shall survive any change in the constitution or ownership of the business provided that the business still meets the membership criteria.

2.3 Franchise Members(Franchisor Members & Franchisee Members)
2.3.1 Franchise Members may be either the holders of Master Franchise Agreements or Franchisees.
2.3.2 Franchise Members who are the holders of Master Franchise Agreements shall be called Franchisor Members.
2.3.3 Franchisor Members may be admitted to membership if they meet the following membership criteria:
(a) Their business is engaged actively in the development or sale of International Real Estate;
(b) they hold a Master Franchise Agreement for an area
(c) they have the right to impose working practices upon their franchisees
(d) their working practices, as imposed upon franchisees (whether by reason of the Method or by any other means), meet all of the aims and objectives of AIPP and the obligations it imposes upon its Members
(e) that the business plans, documentation and procedures of the franchise itself are consistent with the aims of AIPP
(f) they have in place adequate supervision arrangements to enable them to ensure compliance with the working practices that they impose upon franchisees
(g) they make it a specific requirement that all of their franchisees abide by the requirements of this constitution, the Code of Conduct, the Disciplinary Procedure and the Dispute Resolution Procedure; and
(h) they would qualify for membership as a Business Member
2.3.4 Franchise Members who are franchisees shall be called Franchisee Members.

2.3.5 Franchisee Members may be admitted to membership if they meet the following membership criteria:
(a) Their business is engaged actively in the development or sale of International Real Estate
(b) they hold a franchise and operate the business under that franchise
(c) nothing in their franchise agreement is inconsistent with their obligations as a Member of AIPP; and
(d) they would qualify for membership as a Business Member.
2.3.6 Franchise Membership shall survive any change in the constitution or ownership of the franchise and/or (in the case of Franchisee Members) their own franchise business, provided the business still meets the membership Criteria.

3. Duties of Members
3.1 In addition to those duties set out in the Articles of Association, all Members shall:
3.1.1 Ensure that all of their staff abide by the Code of Conduct.
3.1.2 Ensure their staff receive appropriate training.
3.1.3 Notify AIPP of any material change in their structure, management or ownership.
3.1.4 Business & Franchise Agent members shall, in addition:
(a) Ensure that all of their sub agents are aware of the business obligations under the Code of Conduct and agree to comply with those obligations.
(b) Ensure that any agents or developers with whom they work overseas, as suppliers of property, are aware of their obligations under the Code of Conduct and, wherever it is possible to do so, ensure that those agents or developers agree to comply with its terms*
(*) In considering whether it is possible for the Member to comply with this obligation, account shall be taken of the relative size and economic power of the parties, the commercial practice in the area and the existence of any standard form documentation in use by the agent or developer in question. Even if it is not possible to secure the agent’s or developer’s direct adhesion to the provisions of the code the Member shall be responsible for adhering to the code in all respects as far as the conduct of their business is concerned.
3.1.5 Ensure that all of their potential customers are aware of the existence of the Code of Conduct and the Dispute Resolution Procedure and resolve any disputes using that code if the customer so wishes.

4. Rights of Members
4.1 In addition to the rights set out in the Articles of Association, Members shall have the following additional rights:
4.1.1 Subject to the payment of any relevant charge, to use the Dispute Resolution Procedure arranged by AIPP.
4.1.2 Franchisee Members shall have the same rights as Business Members but with the
following restrictions:
(a) They may only use the AIPP logo and make reference to AIPP membership within their own business. They may not use it in any location or in any marketing or other materials where its use might cause a reasonable person to infer that the franchisor or other franchisees were also AIPP Members.
(b) In any marketing materials used in a context where any such confusion might arise and making reference to their AIPP membership or using the AIPP logo they must make it clear that it is their franchise alone that is the AIPP Member.
(c) If the Member uses only the main franchise brand in any materials then it may not make reference to AIPP membership or use the AIPP logo.

4.1.3 All rights shall be suspended if the membership is suspended.

4.1.4 All rights shall end at the same time as the membership ends.

5. Disciplinary
5.1 Members, by accepting membership, agree to submit themselves to AIPP’s Disciplinary Procedure.
5.2 The AIPP Advisory Board may discipline any Member who is adjudged to be in breach of the
provisions of these Rules, the Articles of Association, the Code of Conduct or any rules made under the Articles of Association or whose conduct is adjudged inconsistent with continued membership of AIPP.
5.3 The disciplinary procedure shall be conducted in accordance with AIPP’s disciplinary
code as revised from time to time.
5.4 The sanctions available to the Advisory Board shall, in all cases, include:
(a) a reprimand
(b) suspension of membership
(c) expulsion from membership
(d) In addition to any sanction permitted under these Rules, a Member may be required to give written assurances that the conduct will not be repeated or to agree in writing the steps to be taken to avoid a repetition of the conduct complained of.
5.5 In addition to any sanction permitted under these Rules, a Member may be required to pay all or part of the costs associated with the disciplinary proceedings.
5.6 No Member shall be permitted to resign from Membership once notified of the commencement of any disciplinary proceedings unless those proceedings have been concluded.

6. Other
6.1 AIPP Members must not engage in the sale or promotion of property in the area of northern Cyprus until further notice.

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