Understanding and Following HOA Board Members’ Code of Conduct
An HOA board of directors is the governing body of an association. It is in charge of policy-making and, more importantly, must uphold all legal and fiduciary duties. Board members are in a position of authority and are to act on behalf of the association. When issues arise, having a code of conduct in place will reduce the chance of a possible problem. An HOA board members’ code of conduct can guide board members to maintain high ethical standards and act in a respectful manner. This encourages members to be considerate of ethical standards while being a community leader.
Potential issues to avoid
No one likes to do group projects with members who don’t participate or cause problems, and it’s no different with a condominium or community association board. An HOA board members’ code of conduct provides guidelines for preventing and addressing conflict. Likewise, helps board members understand how to maintain their role. The code can help prevent a board member from:
- furthering a personal agenda at the detriment of the whole
- mishandling finances for their personal use
- engaging in conflict with other HOA members, especially outside of the board
- being “too busy” to show up for meetings or their duties
All members must act in the best interest of the association and avoid breaching duties. If a member is found in violation of their duties, the individual could be liable to the association as a result. Here is an example of how you might structure HOA board members’ code of conduct duty guidelines.
- Duty of care – This duty encourages members to maintain honesty and act in good judgement, despite personal interests. Here lies fiduciary responsibility, and an understanding of any governing laws.
- Duty of loyalty – This duty focuses on commitment and faithfulness. Being on an HOA board is a time commitment and requires a lot of energy as a leader. Members must put all association responsibilities before personal obligations and disclose any potential conflict of interests.
- Duty of obedience – Members are responsible for upholding all confidential information, behaving appropriately during meetings, respecting other members, and abiding by all laws and governing documents of the association.