Renting an investment property that you own, or finding the perfect single-family house to rent requires making some big decisions, and the help of a professional property manager is critical either way.

First, there’s expert knowledge of the market to think about. What are the current rental rates? Will the tenant properly care for the house? What are the legal requirements?

That’s why you need someone who can guide you through the process while putting your best interests first. Professional members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM®) pledge themselves to a strict Code of Ethics when they work with their clients, the real estate community, and the public.

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the NARPM Code of Ethics. It’s a benchmark and standard for conducting business in the single-family rental marketplace, and promotes a high standard of business ethics, professionalism, and fair housing practices. It begins with a responsibility to protect the public: “The Property Manager shall protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation, and unethical practices in property management.”

Twelve articles of the NARPM Code of Ethics hold members to standards of professionalism that include avoidance of discrimination and compliance with fair housing laws; honest treatment of tenants; managing properties in accordance with safety and habitability requirements of the local jurisdiction; proper handling of funds and truth in advertising.

“Now more than ever, it’s critically important for property management professionals to belong to an organization that sets a high standard of conduct for its members,” commented 2019 President of NARPM Eric Wetherington, MPM® RMP® of New Heights Property Management, CRMC® in Summerville, S.C. “One of the biggest areas of complaint often heard at state real estate commissions relates to property management. Consumers need to choose their property manager with as much care as they would choose any professional to ensure they’re working with someone who has their best interests at heart.”

All property managers who join NARPM agree to abide by the professional and ethical standards set by the Code of Ethics, and a three-hour ethics class must be taken within 90 days of joining to obtain professional status.  Members are required to take a refresher course every four years.

In addition, consumers who work with a NARPM member and have an issue with that person can file an ethics complaint, which will be investigated by the national association’s Professional Standards Committee. 

“We can’t guarantee that we will resolve a consumer’s issue, but we will review the complaint, contact the property management company regarding the dispute, and the NARPM Professional Standards Committee will make a decision whether to forward the complaint to a review panel,” explained NARPM President-Elect Kellie Tollifson, MPM® RMP® of T-Square Properties in Bothell, WA. “After reviewing the case, the panel will decide whether a violation of our Code has been committed and if sanctions will be imposed against the company or the individual property manager. It’s a very thorough process.”

“We believe the Code of Ethics is hugely important to the professionalism of NARPM property managers,” added Scott Abernathy, MPM® RMP® of Property Management Inc. PMI Professionals in Murfreesboro, TN. “Our members take it very seriously and see it as another way that NARPM serves not only its members, but also the single-family investor market.”

In choosing a property manager to work with, consumers are advised to select a professional who voluntarily holds to a high ethical standard and who must repeat Code of Ethics training at regular intervals. That person is a professional member of NARPM — someone who holds to standards that have stood the test of time for a quarter century.

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  • Lisa G. Noon

    Lisa G. Noon, CAE RCE is the Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Members of NARPM receive information like this article every month through its news magazine, Residential Resource. To join, or learn more, visit For more information on the CRMC® Designation process, visit:

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