Code of Ethics, Duty of Care
“Where ever it is that we live, it’s the place we call home”.
It is prudent to recognize that the interests of the homeowners require their homes be protected, their homeowner associations united and the value and enjoyment of their property assured. Homeowners require their properties to be properly maintained they expect a healthful living environment, they anticipate the Board of Directors will function efficiently and effectively and provide a financially sound organization.
Accordingly, the services provided by the Board of Directors require honesty, impartiality, fairness and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Board of Directors must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct. These expectations impose solemn obligations beyond those of day-to-day living. They impose serious social responsibilities and a devoted duty to which “Board Members” should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. Board Members, therefore, must be eager to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow homeowners a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.
In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to homeowners, Boards of Directors must continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting homeowners and community associations and, as knowledgeable semi-professionals, they willingly share the fruits of their experience and interaction with other homeowners. They identify and take measures, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the homeowners or which might discredit or bring dishonor to community association living. Board members having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may be in violation of the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of association funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate authority, Board of Directors or the Association of Homeowners.
The term “Board of Directors” has come to indicate competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a proud ideal of moral conduct in association and business relations. No inducement of self-benefit or profit and no instruction from homeowners or residents ever can justify departure from this ideal.
In the interpretation of this responsibility, Boards of Directors can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Accepting this standard as their own, Boards of Directors pledge to observe its spirit in all of their decisions and to conduct the business of the association in accordance with the creed set forth below.
Duties to Homeowners
When representing the homeowners, Board of Directors pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their homeowners and homeowners association. This obligation of absolute fidelity to the association’s interests is primary, but it does not relieve Board of Directors of their obligation to treat all parties fairly and honestly. When serving a homeowner, resident or other party, Board of Directors remain obligated to treat all parties fairly and honestly.
Duty of Care 1-1
Board of Directors, shall remain obligated by the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.
Duty of Care 1-2
The duties the Code of Ethics imposes are applicable when Board of Directors are acting in a legally recognized capacity except that any duty imposed exclusively by law or regulation shall not be imposed by this Code of Ethics on Board of Directors acting in their capacity. As used in this Code of Ethics, “Homeowner” means the person(s) on title of the property for which the homeowners association is constituted and with whom the Board of Directors has a legally recognized relationship.
Duty of Care 1-3
The obligation of the Board of Directors to preserve confidential information as defined by state law regarding their homeowners in the course of their relationship recognized by law continues after termination of the relationship. Board of Directors shall not knowingly, during or following the termination of professional relationships with their homeowners or other residents: I) reveal confidential information of the homeowners or other residents; or 2) use confidential information of the homeowners or other residents to the disadvantage of the homeowners or other residents.
Duty of Care 1-4
Board of Directors shall, consistent with the generally accepted duties of their office, competently manage the property of homeowners with due regard for the rights, responsibilities, benefits, safety and health of residents and others lawfully on the premises.
Duty of Care 1-5
Board of Directors shall exercise due diligence and make reasonable efforts to protect the investment property of the homeowners and the homeowners association against reasonably foreseeable contingencies and losses.
Duty of Care 1-6
When entering into contracts or agreements, Board of Directors shall exercise due diligence and care to protect the homeowners association.
Board of Directors shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit in any way on expenditures or activities made for and in behalf of the homeowners association. When recommending services or products such as homeowner’s insurance, projects, maintenance or landscape contracts, Board of Directors shall disclose any financial benefits or fees that may be derived from such activities.
Duty of Care 2-1
Board of Directors shall not recommend or suggest to the homeowners association the use or services of another organization or business entity in which they have a direct interest without disclosing such interest at the time of the recommendation or suggestion.
Duty of Care 2-2
Board of Directors members shall disclose to the homeowners association if there is any financial benefit or fee the Board Member or its company or firm may receive as a direct result of having recommended services.
Board of Directors shall keep in a special trust account, in an appropriate and insured financial institution, separated and exclusive from their own funds, monies coming into their possession or control for the homeowners association, such as homeowner’s dues or other monies, and like items.
Board of Directors, for the protection of all parties, shall assure whenever possible that contracts or agreements shall be in writing, and shall be in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of all the parties. A copy of each contract or agreement shall be made available to each homeowner upon request
Board of Directors shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Board of Directors shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Board of Directors shall not volunteer or provide information regarding the racial, religious or ethnic composition of any homeowner or resident.
Board of Directors shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning matters or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of matters or service. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the homeowners and their contribution to the assignment or undertaking shall be set forth.
If charged with practice or asked to present evidence or to cooperate in any other way, in any professional standards proceeding or investigation, Board of Directors shall place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunals or council and shall take no action to disrupt or obstruct such processes.
Duties of Board of Directors
Board of Directors shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about homeowners or other residents.
Board of Directors shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with the homeowners association.
While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence