REALTOR® A managed a large apartment building for his client, Owner B. After the building had been under his management for two years, REALTOR® A acquired a vacant site adjacent to the building and developed it as an automobile parking lot with monthly rates set at $50. REALTOR® A advised Owner B of this action, feeling that it would be advantageous to the building, and Owner B indicated that he, too, felt this development was favorable to him.
Six months after opening his parking lot, REALTOR® A raised the monthly rate to $100. When this came to the attention of Owner B, he filed a complaint against REALTOR® A with the Board of REALTORS® charging that the parking rate increase represented an unethical attempt on the part of REALTOR® A to profit by Owner B's investment in the apartment building; that REALTOR® A should have raised rents in the building but had instead substituted the rent increase with an increased rate in his parking lot.
A hearing was called on the complaint before the Board's Professional Standards Committee. At the hearing, REALTOR® A presented data tabulating monthly parking rates in the general area of his enterprise, which showed that $100 was the average prevailing rate for similar facilities in the area. He also presented information which showed that the rent charged in Owner B's building was relatively high in comparison with similar apartments in the area.