Q: My question involves community managers and ethics? Like Realtors, do managers have to have ethics training? While Realtors have to account for their actions, what about managers? Who do they have to answer to after the fact in a conflict situation? What if the manager doesn’t know when he or she is in conflict? What about the bidding process? What if a person involved with the management company favors certain bidding companies? Is that a conflict?
A: Community managers have their own licensing requirements for the management of homeowner associations. Many community managers also have additional licenses from the real estate division, including the salesman license and the license to manage income producing property or to sell business opportunities.
In the case of community managers, there is a specific code of ethics found in NAC 116 regulations — violations of these standard practices can result in the loss of their community association manager license as well as being fined by the Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels
Community managers as well as real estate licensees are required to take a certain amount of classes in order to renew their licenses, of which ethics and the law are two of the required classes.
It is both the responsibility of the board and of the community manager to avoid those conflict traps. In fact, it is a requirement in the standard practices of the community manager to consult the board not to fall into those conflict traps.
As to the bidding process, you might have read that there is new law which requires the bids to be opened at a board meeting and not by the management company and not in executive session.
In the final analysis, I think most of us know when we have crossed the line. If you are not sure, ask the following question. If I take this action, would I want the action to be publicized in the news media? If the answer is no, you are probably on a thin ethical line and should make a different decision.
This is true for anyone in any profession, including community managers.
Barbara Holland, certified property manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. To ask her a question, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.