Effective community association governance has many moving parts, and it’s crucial that board members adhere to a set of ethical standards that can help them fulfill their volunteer duties with the community’s best interests in mind.

While not meant to address every potential ethical dilemma, CAI’s Model Code of Ethics for Community Association Board Members serves as a basic framework that can be modified by any community association.

Board members should:

  • Serve the best interests of the association as a whole regardless of their personal interests.
  • Use sound judgment to make the best possible business decisions for the association, taking into consideration all available information, circumstances, and resources.
  • Act within the boundaries of their authority as defined by law and the association governing documents.
  • Provide opportunities for residents to comment on decisions facing the association.
  • Perform their duties without bias for or against any individual or group of owners or nonowner residents.
  • Disclose personal or professional relationships with any company or individual who has or is seeking to have a business relationship with the association.
  • Conduct open, fair, and well-publicized elections that allow residents to exercise their right to vote.
  • Always speak with one voice, supporting all duly adopted board decisions even if the board member was in the minority regarding actions that may not have obtained unanimous consent.
  • Keep confidential any owner, resident, or other third-party discussions, decisions, and comments made at any meeting of the board properly closed or held in executive session unless specifically authorized by the board.
  • Refrain from making unauthorized promises to a contractor or bidder.
  • Decline gifts directly or indirectly from owners, residents, contractors, or suppliers.
  • Represent only known facts in any issue involving association business.
  • Refrain from personal attacks, harassment, or threats with colleagues, staff, or residents.

>>Download CAI’s Model Code of Ethics for Community Association Board Members. These ethical standards are one element of Community Association Living: An Essential Guide for Homeowner Leaders, proudly sponsored by ClickPay and Pinnacle Financial Partners.

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Kiara Candelaria

Kiara Candelaria

Kiara is associate editor for CAI’s print and digital publications. Before joining CAI, she worked for a trade media magazine focusing on the oil refining sector. Kiara also worked as an internal communications intern at the Library of Congress in 2015 and was a student journalist while attending college in Puerto Rico, where she was born and raised. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information and journalism from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, in 2014 and earned a master’s degree in communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in 2020. Kiara currently resides in Arlington, Va., and enjoys watching movies and television shows, playing videogames, and spoiling her cat Kyoshi.

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