Board Members Should Never Use Their Board Position for Personal Gain
Ohio community association board members are unpaid volunteers. Most association governing documents clearly stipulate that the board members “shall serve without compensation” or “shall be unpaid volunteers.” Under Ohio nonprofit corporate laws, board members are required to perform the duties of a director in good faith (known as the duty of care) and in a manner they believe to be in the best interests of the entire association (known as the duty of loyalty). If a community association board member is using their position for personal gain, such as paying themselves or waiving the requirement that they pay their association assessments, their judgment and decisions will clearly be called into question. More significantly, a disgruntled owner may very well charge that board member with a breach of the Ohio mandated duty of care and loyalty. If such an allegation is made, board members are generally covered under the association’s “Directors and Officers” (D & O) insurance policy that is specifically written to cover “volunteers.” A board member who is getting paid and/or not paying their association assessments may well find themselves without coverage under the association’s D & O policy. As a rule, community association board members should never use their board position for personal gain.