The Board of Directors for homeowner and condo associations is held to the highest standards. All of their actions must be above reproach to retain the trust and confidence of the owners in the community. Developing a code of ethics for your Board can help the directors define what is right, fair and just. This document serves the association well in times of change and uncertainty when some policies and rules are vague.
Codes of ethic aren’t developed in a vacuum. Nor do they replace by-laws or other governing documents. A code of ethics for Board members should outline the foundation upon which a functioning and healthy board can build. Codes articulate the values that Board members must follow when conducting business for the association. When it is fully developed, the code should be communicated and adopted by the HOA.
If writing a code of ethics is next on your to-do list, below are some values that can provide a solid framework. You can add details to help clarify actions and values that all Board members should follow. Examples can help communicate the intent behind each ethic, but it doesn’t have to be a lengthy document. A one-page document may be enough guidance. The point is that the code of ethics is useful for your Board members.
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Objectivity. When conducting HOA business, board members should make choices based on facts and merit.
Accountability. Board members are accountable to themselves, other Board members and the owners in the association for their actions and decisions. All actions should be transparent unless legal issues prevent disclosure.
Integrity. Board members should act honestly and responsibly when acting on behalf of the association. Any potential conflict of interest or similar situation that could influence the performance of duties should be reported to the Board immediately.
Service. Board members serve the community because they want to contribute to the good of the association. Personal and/or financial gains should not be solicited or accepted.
Respectfulness. It is the duty of every Board member to treat others with respect and dignity. Each member should strive to resolve potential conflicts in such a way that protects the interest of the association and promotes good relationships among neighbors.
Leadership. All Board members should support Board decisions through their actions as well as speaking with one voice. Each member should strive to lead the community by example.
Focused Listening. Every Board member should look for opportunities for homeowners to provide feedback or comment on association business.
Wise Property Solutions is East Tennessee’s only Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC®). As the region’s leader in community association management, the firm is committed to the industry’s best practices and continuing professional development. Wise Property Solutions’ certified and highly trained property managers empower well-organized and efficient communities. The firm maintains offices in both Knoxville and the Tri-Cities.
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