Ethics & Responsibilities
The Board Member Ethics Document and the section below from CAI's* Rights and Responsibilities Document serve as a good blueprints of the ways in which Board members should conduct themselves and interact with condominium owners. When this doesn't happen, homeowners have recourse.
Jupiter Bay's Board members must have the right attitudes, communication skills and owner-involvement perspective and strive to perform according to standards set by CAI. Condominium owners have the obligation to support the Association and elected officials and provide their input and opinions towards the betterment of the community.
* Community Associations Institute (CAI) is a national organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, responsive, competent community associations. Founded in 1973, CAI represents association-governed communities, such as condominium and homeowner associations, cooperatives, and planned communities.
Homeowners Have the Right To:
- A responsive and competent community association.
- Honest, fair and respectful treatment by community leaders and managers.
- Participate in governing the community association by attending meetings, serving on committees and standing for election.
- Access appropriate association books and records.
- Prudent expenditure of fees and other assessments.
- Live in a community where the property is maintained according to established standards.
- Fair treatment regarding financial and other association obligations, including the opportunity to discuss payment plans and options with the association before foreclosure is initiated.
- Receive all documents that address rules and regulations governing the community association -- if not prior to purchase and settlement by a real estate agent or attorney, then upon joining the community.
- Appeal to appropriate commmunity leaders those decisions affecting non-routine financial responsibilities or property rights.
Homeowners Have the Responsibility To:
- Read and comply with the governing documents of the community.
- Maintain their property according to established standards.
- Treat association leaders honestly and with respect.
- Vote in community elections and on other issues.
- Pay association assessments and charges on time.
- Contact association leaders or managers, if necessary, to discuss financial obligations and alternative payment arrangements.
- Request reconsideration of material decisions that personally affect them.
- Provide current contact information to association leaders or managers to help ensure they receive information from the community.
- Ensure that those who reside on their property (e.g., tenants, relatives, friends) adhere to all rules and regulations.
Community Leaders Have the Right To:
- Expect owners and non-owner residents to meet their financial obligations to the community.
- Expect residents to know and comply with the rules and regulations of the community and to stay informed by reading material provided by the association.
- Respectful and honest treatment from residents.
- Conduct meetings in a positive and constructive atmosphere.
- Receive support and constructive input from owners and non-owner residents.
- Personal privacy at home and during leisure time in the community.
- Take advantage of educational opportunities (e.g., publications, training workshops) that are directly related to their responsibilities, and as approved by the association.
Community Leaders Have the Responsibility To:
- Fulfill their fiduciary duties to the community and exercise discretion in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interests of the community.
- Exercise sound business judgment and follow established management practices.
- Balance the needs and obligations of the community as a whole with those of individual homeowners and residents.
- Understand the association’s governing documents and become educated with respect to applicable state and local laws, and to manage the community association accordingly.
- Establish committees or use other methods to obtain input from owners and non-owner residents.
- Conduct open, fair and well-publicized elections.
- Welcome and educate new members of the community—owners and non-owner residents alike.
- Encourage input from residents on issues affecting them personally and the community as a whole.
- Encourage events that foster neighborliness and a sense of community.
- Conduct business in a transparent manner when feasible and appropriate.
- Allow homeowners access to appropriate community records, when requested.
- Collect all monies due from owners and non-owner residents.
- Devise appropriate and reasonable arrangements, when needed and as feasible, to facilitate the ability of individual homeowners to meet their financial obligations to the community.
- Provide a process residents can use to appeal decisions affecting their non-routine financial responsibilities or property rights— where permitted by law and the association’s governing documents.
- Initiate foreclosure proceedings only as a measure of last resort.
- Make covenants, conditions and restrictions as understandable as possible, adding clarifying “lay” language or supplementary materials when drafting or revising the documents.
- Provide complete and timely disclosure of personal and financial conflicts of interest related to the actions of community leaders, e.g., officers, the board and committees. (Community associations may want to develop a code of ethics.)
Actions Against Board Members
Whenever condominium homeowners feel that their elected board members are no longer representing the interests of the association members, are not acting in an ethical manner, are misusing the association's financial resources, or are shirking their fiduciary responsibilities, there are several actions that can be taken:
Board Member Recall: Per Florida Statute 718.112(2)(j), "any member of the board of administration may be recalled and removed from office with or without cause by the vote or agreement in writing by a majority of all the voting interests.” See “Recall of Board Members” on the Board-of-Director page for more information.
Formal DBPR Complaint: Per Florida Statute 718.501, the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes “has jurisdiction to investigate complaints related to financial issues, elections, and unit owner access to association records”. The division permits any person to file a statement in writing as to the facts and circumstances concerning a matter to be investigated. Based on the investigation, the division may impose a civil penalty individually against an officer or board member, may order the removal of such individual as an officer or from the board of administration or as an officer of the association, and may prohibit such individual from serving as an officer or on the board of a community association for a period of time. The Forms Page of this website provides a “fill in the blanks” Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) official Condominium Complaint form.
Board Member Code of Ethics
|Click on the following link to download a copy of CAI's "Model Code of Ethics for Community Association Board Members".||Board Member Ethics|
According to the Model Code of Ethics for Community Association Board Members, which can be accessed via the above link, board members:
- Should strive at all times to 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, act within the boundaries of their authority, and perform their duties without bias for or against any individual or group of owners or non-owner residents.
- Should not use their positions or decision-making authority for personal gain or to seek advantage over another owner or non-owner resident; spend unauthorized association funds for their own personal use or benefit; misrepresent known facts in any issue involving association business; or harass or make personal attacks on colleagues, staff, residents or contractors.