Management Services for Condominium, Homeowner and Community Associations Since 1991

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Introduction
To establish and maintain public confidence in honesty, integrity, profession­alism and ability of the professional Community Association manager is fundamental to the future success of the Community Associations Institute and its members. This code and performance pursuant to its provisions will serve to develop a mutually beneficial relationship among Community Association man­agers, clients, employers and the public. The term “Community Association manager or “manager, as used in this Code, includes agents and employees of a Community Association Management firm.

The New Jersey Chapter of the Community Associations Institute seeks to work closely with all other segments of the real estate industry to protect and enhance the interests of the public. To this end, the Community Association man­agers of the Chapter have endorsed and subscribe to this Code of Professional Ethics and to the sanctions prescribed for any material violation of the Code. By doing so, they give notice that they clearly recognize one vital need to preserve and encourage fair and equitable practices and competition among all who are engaged in the profession of property management. Those who are members of the Institute are dedicated individuals who are sincerely concerned with the pro­tection and interests of those who come in contact with the industry.

1. Fiduciary Obligation to Clients

A Community Association manager shall at all times exercise the utmost busi­ness loyalty to the interests of his or her clients and shall be diligent in the maintenance and protection of the clients' properties. A manager shall not repre­sent personal interests divergent or conflicting with those of the association client. A manager, as a fiduciary for the client, shall not receive any benefit(s), whether monetary or other- wise, which has not been fully disclosed to, and approved by, the client in writing. 

2. Disclosure and Representation
A manager shall not disclose to a third party confidential information which would be injurious or damaging concerning the business or personal affairs of a client without prior written consent of the client, except as may otherwise be required by applicable law. A manager shall disclose any relationship that he may have with any bank in which the funds of association clients are deposited. A man­ager shall not make any misleading or inaccurate representations to any current and/or prospective association clients regarding the manager's qualifications or capabilities. Upon request, a Community Association Management firm shall dis­close all percentage ownership interest within the firm and/or property within the community. Any principal and/or manager of the Community Association Man­agement firm shall disclose any ownership or interest in any other business entity conducting business with the community associations.

3. Client Communication and Education
A manager shall keep association clients reasonably informed about the status of all matters and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information. A manager shall not withhold educational materials or information concerning com­munity associations from association client Board Members, and shall encourage association clients to participate in educational classes dealing with the operation of community associations. A manager shall endeavor to explain any matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the association client to make informed decisions regarding community association matters.

4. Professional Competence
A manager shall not: (a) exhibit a pattern of negligence or neglect in the han­dling of association matters; (b) direct or assist an association client in conduct that the manager knows or should have reason to know is illegal, criminal or fraudulent; (c) provide legal advice.A manager shall use due diligence in adhering to and following the governing documents of the association client at all times.

5. Conflict of Interest
(a) No manager may use his position to enhance his own financial status through recommendation of professionals, vendors, suppliers or contractors that may pay a gratuity to or otherwise compensate, directly or indirectly, the firm or employee of a member of the organization.(b) A manager shall disclose any per­sonal or professional relationship(s) with any professional, vendor supplier or contractor who is recommended to or engaged by the association client.(c) In addition, any conflict of interest shall be disclosed to clients by all managers of the Community Associations Institute.

6. Gratuities
It shall be the policy of the Community Associations Institute to discourage the acceptance by its Community Association managers of gifts, entertainment, or other favors from existing or prospective professionals, vendors, suppliers, con­tractors, or clients who act on behalf of its clients. The following are intended to provide standards in this regard:
7. Financial Management
A Community Association manager shall, at all times, keep and maintain accu­rate accounting records concerning the associations managed and such records shall be available for inspection at all reasonable times by such association. The manager shall render a statement of receipts and disbursements in accordance with the management agreement in sufficient detail to reflect an account of the funds of the association and the status of the community. The manager shall not pledge any association funds as collateral for loans to any association or otherwise unless expressly authorized and approved in writing by the association client. Any and all funds that the management firm has sole signature authority on will require the managing agent to provide the association client with a detailed monthly report of all disbursements. In addition, a manager shall encourage annual audits of all asso­ciation funds where the governing documents do not so require.

8. Protection of Funds and Property
The manager shall, at all times, exert due diligence for the protection of asso­ciation clients' funds and property in the possession or control of the managing agent against all reasonably foreseeable contingencies or losses. A manager shall not commingle the management firm's funds and/or any other unrelated associa­tions' funds with any of the funds of it's association clients. All association funds in his custody shall be deposited in EDIC or equivalently insured financial insti­tutions, not to exceed the insured limits in each financial institution, and all such receipts and revenues shall be deemed to be trust funds held in trust for clients or clients' accounts. A manager shall make every effort to conserve the resources of the client and shall take full advantage of discounts, purchasing opportunities, and other ethical means at his or her disposal when purchasing or contracting for sup­plies, services or material on behalf of the association client.

9. Professional Courtesy
A manager shall not make, authorize or encourage any derogatory or dispar­aging comments concerning the practices of another Community Association management firm and/or manager subscribing to this Code. Community Associa­tion managers should exhibit professional courtesy to all Community Association management professionals and their clients.

10. Management Agreement
There shall be a written agreement between a Community Association man­ager and his association client which shall provide for specific terms agreed upon between the parties and shall be in clear and understandable terms, including a general description of the services to be provided by and responsibilities of the Community Association manager. The manager shall not exceed his responsibility as outlined in the management agreement, except where specifically requested by the Association.

11. Duty of Former Clients and Former Firms or Employer
All obligations and duties of the Community Association manager to clients, firms and employers as specified in the Code shall also apply to relationships with former clients and former firms and employers to the extent that same may be applicable. The Community Association manager shall conduct himself in the highest professional manner when, for whatever reason, relationships are termi­nated between the Community Association manager and clients and firm or employer.

Upon termination of the management contract, all association records includ­ing, but not limited to: corporate books and records, public offering statement, site plans, bank statements and cancelled checks, closing balance, contracts, insurance policies, current owner listing, current delinquency listing, unpaid invoices, prior years audited financial statements and tax returns shall be turned over to the new management company expeditiously.

12. Compliance with Law and Regulations
A Community Association manager shall, at all times, conduct his business and personal activities with knowledge of and in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, and shall maintain the highest moral and eth­ical standards consistent with membership in and the purposes of the Community Associations Institute.

13. Continuing Professional Education
A Community Association manager, in order to assure the continued retention and further growth and development of his or her skills as a professional, shall endeavor to take maximum advantage of the opportunities offered to him for con­tinuing professional education and refinement of his management skills.

14. Insurance
All Community Association managers shall maintain fidelity bond coverage or the equivalent, and shall maintain basic general liability insurance unless covered under each association's policy.

All Community Association managers shall disclose their insurance coverage and provide proof of same annually to all current and prospective association clients.

15. Advertising
All representations made by a Community Association manager to current and prospective clients shall be adhered to by the Community Association manager. A manager shall not misrepresent qualifications or services in its advertising mate­rials or presentations. The Community Associations Institute logo may only be used by managers in good standing.
CODE OF ETHICS FOR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGERS