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Subject: Washington State Code Revision
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Author Messages
FritzR
(Washington)

Posts:8


10/13/2008 6:19 PM  
Under current Washington State Codes(RCW)HOA boards seem to have almost unlimited powers. They can raise assessments, fine and procure contracts without consent of the home owners.

Some directors show a sense of reality and others are Lost In Space, literaly. But before the legislature is a new amendment, which would change this. This amendment would require HOA Directors to gain approval from the majprity of it's Class A and Class B members before raising assessments, Changing guidelines-rules or issuing major contracts.

This amendment would stop abuses such as the recent case of HOA Director Stupidity that cost a HOA $ 83,000 in lawyer fees over the color of a fence. It seems that the Directors contracted with a legal firm to sue a home owner and never informed the association. Now each member owes an unexpected $1,000 assessment.

If you think that member involvement is important call or write your Washington State Representative to suppport this change for yout own protection. It is currently in the hands of Mr Larry Springer, State Rep
from Kirkland WA.
GeorgerwilliamsW
(Indiana)

Posts:975


10/14/2008 3:14 AM  
Indiana, as well, is facing similar legislative attention regarding expenditures in homeowners associations. Fortunately in Hoosierland, homeowners associations are not permitted to assess fines.

The current legislative proposal up for discussion (HB1080) requires that homeowners themselves vote to approve the annual budget. I think the notion of requiring more participation in the affairs of the association by homeowners is a good idea, but this may not be the way to go about it. HB1080 also prohibits liens for special assessments, a maximum of 25 percent fee increase without a homeowner vote, and a super majority vote by all homeowners (not just of a quorum) for any special assessment.

Another proposal that will be considered, I suspect, is the "5 percent rule" which enables as few as five percent of association members to petition for a vote on any action of the governing board, including changes or imposition of rules and regulations.
DarylF
(Washington)

Posts:152


10/14/2008 6:16 AM  
Thanks for the note. I'll be sending Mr Springer a note.

Do you have a news link to the fence story? We have a similar issue brewing in our HOA.
DarylF
(Washington)

Posts:152


10/14/2008 6:18 AM  
http://joelistshomes.com/2007/09/26/12-foot-section-of-fence-costing-400-in-materials-to-build-costs-homeowners-association-83000-over-color-dispute/


found it.
DanielG3
(Washington)

Posts:2


10/14/2008 10:53 PM  
Interesting. But I am afraid that may swing the pendulum too far in cases such as ours where the developer and relatives actually owned some property (votes) and yet we sued.

How are we supposed to sue a developer for negligence, fraud, shoddy construction, or other if we are supposed to give out the details of our case before a law suit? Anybody who understands the law and attorneys knows that if we had to give out the details in order to `sell` enough owners to approve a law suit, the opposing party attorneys would have had a field day with our suit. We are ahead in the six figures because we properly filed and mitigated. If we had to show our cards beforehand, who knows where we would be now.

We had a great deal of pushback when we announced the suit, but we won and cleared a healthy amount after legal fees. Without the freedom to run the Association like the legal entity it is, again, who knows where we would be now.

Also, what if a Board inherits an underfunded assessment and reserves because the developer just wanted to sell units asap? A good (actually bad) portion of our owners rent out their units. Too many don`t care how the place looks or the quality of life or about suing as long as $ does not come out of their pockets. There is law covering part of this situation but again, you would have to sue to enforce and possibly obtain any damages.

I am for a limitation of powers at heart, but have serious reservations based on personal experience.

Too many owners want control w/out doing any of the work necessary to run the Association or complex.

PS. there is no article about above per the mitigation results agreement.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Washington State Code Revision



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