HOA’s Should Adopt a Board Code of Ethics
While it’s certainly not mandatory, the board of directors for your homeowner’s association (HOA) should think seriously about implementing a code of ethics, which would serve to aid in the management of the HOA, as well as help community members.
What exactly is a code of ethics for an HOA board? Basically, it’s a document that establishes guidelines for appropriate behavior of board members.
An HOA code of ethics is designed to help director’s exercise good judgment in the best possible way. This document can benefit the community as a whole.
A code of ethics should encourage board members to:
- Have the best interests of the association as a whole at heart, regardless of personal interests
- Be united with other members once decisions are made
- Use good judgment to make the best possible business decisions for the association, taking into consideration all aspects of the situation
- Act within the boundaries of their authority as defined by law and the governing documents of the association
- Conduct open, fair, publicized elections
- Allow residents to comment on decisions
- Perform their duties without bias
- Disclose personal or professional relationships with any company or individual who has or is seeking to have a business relationship with the association.
A code of ethics should discourage board members from:
- Misrepresent the facts in any issue involving HOA business
- Reveal confidential information or personal information about any association owner, resident or employee.
- Make unauthorized promises to contractors/bidders
- Support or lobby for any action or activity that violates a law or regulatory requirement
- Accept any gifts—directly or indirectly—from owners, residents, contractors or suppliers.
- Use their positions for personal gain or to seek an advantage over another owner or non-owner resident
- Reveal to any owner, resident or other third party the discussions, decisions and comments made at any meeting of the board properly closed or held in executive session
- Spend unauthorized association funds for their own personal use or benefit
- Launch personal attacks on board colleagues, staff or residents.
- Harass or threaten any board member, owner, resident, employee or contractor