Welcome to 2017! Do you have new board members at your association? According to ECHO, this is a great time to stress the importance of a Board’s duties, responsibilities and ethics. Ethics are the moral compass that guides the performance of a director’s duties and governance of a homeowners association. Creating a functioning compass means establishing a standard for your HOA to follow when conducting its business. Boards should adopt a code of ethics or at a minimum a code of conduct, to establish a standard for how the board conducts itself and the business decisions of the association.
Checklist for HOA Board Member Code of Ethics
✔Defines the value system of the HOA and how directors must behave
✔Clarifies ethical standards regarding loyalty, fidelity, integrity, honesty, confidentiality and competency
✔Establishes ethical standards that enable board members to avoid potential grey areas
✔Incorporates preferred business practices, appropriate legal requirements, and the expected code of conduct for board members
An ethics code or conduct code can be an invaluable tool to ensure that board members are aware of the “line in the sand” when it comes to grey areas and turn an otherwise confusing situation into a clear decision. A good practice is to distribute your board member code of ethics to the homeowners as well as the board. This will make the board’s actions accountable to each other and the homeowners, creating a transparency that’s a win-win for directors and owners.
How do your Board of Director Code of Ethics differ from ECHO’s suggestions? You can obtain a sample code and read more here: http://www.echo-ca.org/article/ethics-code-hoa-board-members