HOA REFORM

PROPOSED LEGISLATION & RESOURCES

Housing Justice v2

HOA REFORM OVERVIEW

Please read our white paper with policy recommendations below, we would ask you to consider in the next legislative session.

The problems detailed in the attached white paper are not new, however the situation has become even more dire, as a consequence of the current COVID -19 epidemic and specifically the response that has resulted in loss of businesses and incomes for thousands of Washingtonians.  There is nothing much more important than one’s home.  As you know Washington has faced a homelessness crisis even prior to the current pandemic.  The situation is worsening.  One of the best ways to save people from homelessness, is to keep people in their homes.

We believe our suggestions are very reasonable and important, and should invite bipartisan support.  We would appreciate your consideration of the problems and the suggested policy recommendations.

Please read our HOA Reform and our Foreclosure Reform White Papers

After reading our information, please fill out the form below. It will send us an email that states that you support our proposals and will vote in favor of them.  We will show your name on our site as endorsing our proposals.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or support should you decide to embrace these recommendations and sponsor legislation next session.

Respectfully,
Patrick Johansen
Director of the Housing Committee
Ignite Legal

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MEMORANDUM REGARDING CURRENT PROBLEMS WITH HOA LAW AND RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO WASHINGTON STATE LAW

Prepared by:
Patrick Johansen
Director of the Housing Committee
Ignite Legal

AND:
Raelene Shiffano
Housing Committee
Ignite Legal

We know there are many well run HOAs, however they are one Board election from becoming a dictatorial nightmare for the property owners.  But we are concerned with the Boards that participate in illegal and unethical actions, and use their power as a weapon against their neighbors. The Board of an HOA is not an impartial government agency, it is a group of HOA property owners, that have taken power over other HOA property owners, and now have a very unequal right to make decisions benefit themselves at the peril of the other property owners.

That group of people now control what covenants are made, how, when and on whom they are enforce, on whom they are not enforced, and have control of all communication, including the weekly newsletter, the website, and the facebook page.  They have control of the elections, how they are run, how and who counts the votes, and what information goes to the members.  The problems with HOAs are recognized nationally.  See the Geico commercial to the right.  This is not an exageration, in fact many people literally lose their homes or retirement savings due to purchasing in an HOA.

All RCW Codes 64.32, 64.34, 64.38 and 64.90 are affected in the following issues. The Condo codes are more in depth due to the sharing of space, walls, etc. All laws, RCW Codes and Declarations need to be amended by the Legislators to add the Protections of Homeowner’s Constitutional Rights.  The suggested law modifications here refer to 64.38 however the same modifications should be added to the appropriate sections of 64.32, 64.34, 64.38 and 64.90

Problem and Solution Summaries

 

Problem #1 Summary Violations of the Washington State Constitution

Homeowners are being fined into foreclosure with NO DUE PROCESS. The unbalanced system of HOA, takes away our constitutional rights and leaves a homeowner on unequal grounds.

US Constitution, 14th Amendment, Section 1, All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

(*Note, fining members for CCRS without due process, violates the US Constitution, 14th Amendment, Section 1)

HOAs are corporations that have been given the right to violate our Constitution and are being treated as public government bodies, (according to the Uniform Act, HOA and Condo Laws).

Washington State Constitution, Article I Section 12   SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES PROHIBITED.   No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.

(*Note, fining members for CCRS that are more restrictive than the County Codes and State Laws is a violation of Article I Section 12)

Levying fines against people’s private property without due process, with the Board as accuser, judge, jury and executioner, violates the constitution.

Solutions to Problem #1 Summary.

Create RCW forbidding any HOA to create or enforce covenants that apply to privately owned property.  Covenants can only apply to common property and fines can only be applied if there are similar fines for all citizens and only after due process.

Add penalties for Board Members who knowingly violate the laws, any RCWs involving HOAs or mis-enforce the CCRs.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #2 Summary.   Penalties in the Law

Association Board members, Property Managers and Attorneys are held HARMLESS…The Homeowners lose their home!

When the Association Board Members vote to violate the laws or covenants, the member-homeowners is in the position where they must risk their money on attorney’s and court costs to enforce the law or protect themselves.  Conversely, the offending Board Member is either using the HOA insurance money or the collective HOA money for their attorney’s fees and court costs, thus have no risk.  This is extreme unequal power between two neighbor groups.

Solution to Problem #2 Summary.

Penalties should be added to the law that fine and prescribe jail time for Board Members, and Committee Members who are empowered to make decisions by the Board, who knowingly violate the laws or covenants.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #3 Summary.  Member Communication

Homeowners have no way of communicating with neighbors. How do we have Fair Elections, if the homeowners cannot communicate with one another?

Member Communication.   In many HOAs, especially those with a large number of properties or many that are second homes or vacation properties, it is very difficult for the members to communicate freely with each other.  To allow free and convenient communication between HOA members, all members must supply an email address that will be shared electronically with all of the other members at no cost for the list.

Solution to Problem #3 Summary.

To allow free and convenient communication between HOA members, all members must supply an email address to the HOA that will be shared electronically with all of the other members at no cost for the list.  This list can not be used for commercial purposes and all property owners  must sign an agreement to keep the list private.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #4 Summary.   Amplified fees

Late fees and Fines have additional fees added, such as late fees, administration fees, attorney fees. These fees are due in 30 days or Liens and Foreclosure with begin, with NO DUE Process offered for a homeowner to defend their actions!

 

Fines, late fees and attorney’s fees often far exceed the value of the fine, back dues and/or assessments.   People can lose their homes over a late $200 dues payment.

 

Solution to Problem #4 Summary.

All challenged fines should be handled in small claims court, with NO Attorneys.

For collections, the total of attorney’s fees, late fees, fines and all other fees can not exceed twice the original funds owed.   To start foreclosure the property owner must be 6 months behind on dues and/or assessments, not including fines, interest, HOA late fees, attorney’s fees our court costs.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #5 Summary.    Stakeholders

Homeowners are the STAKEHOLDERS. Any other corporation is just a Trades group being paid and financed by the HOMEOWNERS. It is unjust to say that anyone profiting from the demise of Homeowners is an actual stakeholder.  The HOA is supposed to be there for the benefit of the property owners and the legislature’s goal should be to protect the property owners.

Solution to Problem #5 Summary.

Add to the RCWs that property owners are the only stakeholders in HOA laws, all laws must be written to benefit the property owners of an HOAnot the Board, not the Association Corporation, not third parties, but the property owners themselves with the exception of laws to assure vendors will be paid for the work they have done.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #6 Summary.  Uniform Enforcement

There is no government oversight for HOA Boards. Board Members frequently violating the laws and CC&Rs, yet that is ignored for those on the Board, yet minor infractions or false claims against other property owners often lead to large fines, lawsuits and potential foreclosure. Unchecked Power Corrupts.  In many HOAs small groups of people with special interests take over Boards and make decisions for their own property benefit while damaging the other properties.  HOA attorney’s and Property Management Company personnel are often aware that Board Members are violating the laws or behaving unethically.

Solution to Problem #6 Summary.

Add to RCWs that:

All CCRs must be enforced equally or removed.  At any point that a PM or attorney is aware of any violations of this section by a Board Member, it is the fiduciary responsibility of the PM or attorney to advise the Board member and if the situation is not immediately rectified, to report the violation to the State.   PMs and Attorney should NEVER be held HARMLESS.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #7 Summary.  Usurping authority

Association Board Members have MORE POWER THAN THE MUNICIPALITY and are HELD HARMLESS for ALL ACTIONS.  Often HOA Boards overstep their authority.  They have been known to usurp the power of local governments, and attempt to enforce the Boards “interpretation” of a regulation or ordinance.

Solution to Problem #7 Summary.

Amend RCWs to state an specifically limit the HOA’s authority to CCRs and fines stated specifically in their CCRs.  HOAs do not have authority to enforce laws or ordinances.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #8 Summary.   Hidden covenants and fines

Consumers have no idea that a Board can change the Rules at anytime or can charge a special assessment for any reason. Who is training the homeowners? NO ONE should have to pay to learn how to live in their home. What happened to the TRUTH IN LENDING?  

Many times people buy properties in HOAs either not knowing the property is in an HOA, or not aware that there are additional rules or fines that are not mentioned in the covenants.

Solution to Problem #8 Summary.

Amend RCWs to require that all rules of the HOA and all applicable fines must be in the covenants.   The covenants must be presented to prospective property buyers before they make an offer on the property.  The CCR document must be signed by the prospective property buyer and included in the offer documentation when a prospective buyer is making an offer on a property that is in an HOA. Resale certs found to be fraudulent, should be prosecuted as FRAUD!!

See Full Detail

 

Problem #9 Summary.  Changing Contract

The RESALE CERTIFICATE MATTERS. Who is teaching consumers what they need to know about purchasing into a CORPORATION? WE REALLY AREN’T PURCHASING A HOME OR CONDO, BUT A SPOT IN A CORPORATION WITH NO VOTING POWER AND NO RIGHTS.

Property owners buy into an HOA under a set of covenants.   A new group of Board Members may take over and completely change the rules, impinging on the property owners rights.  HOAs should not be able to take away property rights after the property was purchased under one set of Covenants.

Solution to Problem #9 Summary.

Once a property owner purchases a property, the HOA must not add additional covenants or fines on private properties.  Covenants and/or fines may be removed by a majority vote of the total membership.

Liens and Foreclosure should only commence if the property owner does not pay common assessments. Fines and fees should not fall under these laws, since  DUE PROCESS IS NOT OFFERED IN THE LAWS. Homeowners only have a right to “BE HEARD”.  THE CONSTITUTION DEMANDS THAT ANY FINE/FEE OVER $25 HAS A RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS BY AN IMPARTIAL TRIBUNAL. THE BOARD IS NOT IMPARTIAL.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #10 Summary. Liens and foreclosures

Attorneys representing an association charge more than a foreclosure in many cases. This financial burden hurts all the rest of the homeowners paying these fees. FAIR FORECLOSURE LAWS DO NOT APPLY TO HOA/ CONDO OWNERS.

Property owners get in unexpected situations, like Covid.  They have good intentions to pay their HOA dues and assessments but an emergency comes up and they can’t or forget.  Often liens and foreclosures are filed without the property owner aware.

Solution to Problem #10 Summary.

Collect HOA dues and assessments through the mortgage escrow with a monthly payment.

No non-judicial foreclosures.

Small claims court must be used for all issues under $10,000.

Small claims courts must be used for all CCR violation claims.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #11 Summary.  No profit from ownership of any individual property.

Fair and Equal is the law. NO LAW SHALL BE PASSED…Fair insurance laws do not apply to Condo Owners. Board Members should NEVER be the ADJUSTER for an insurance claim. WA State has “IFCA”, but that does not apply to HOA/Condo owners. Who protects us and why isn’t the law fair and equal?

HOAs should not make a profit through ownership any individual property.  HOAs should not be allowed to redirect funds from insurance claims or other incomes connected to one property to improve other properties.  For example, HOAs may not charge homeowners for RV or boat storage, charge them more than the actual costs to the HOA, and then use the additional funds to make improvements or maintenance to a different property or put it in the general fund.

Solution to Problem #11 Summary.

Amend RCWs to state that HOAs must not make a profit through ownership any individual property.  HOAs must not redirect funds from insurance claims or other incomes connected to one property to improve or maintain other properties or put those funds in a general fund.  All revenues and incomes derived from a property must be used to repair, improve or maintain that property.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #12 Summary.  One set of laws

The WA State Constitution demands that NO LAW SHALL BE PASSED…Homeowners are not allowed to sign away their rights in a Private Contract. Legislators violated the constitution when they wrote the Uniform Acts.

There should be one set of laws in the State of Washington that applies to all.   It does not make sense to write laws to remedy problems and then allow people to choose whether or not to follow them.

Solution to Problem #12 Summary.

Modify  64.90 to specify that it replaces 64.32, 64.34, 64.38 and requires HOAs of all forms to adhere to 64.90 now and modify their declarations so that their declarations comply within a one year period.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #13 Summary.  Lack of Transparency.

Homeowners have to fight Boards, Property Managers and Attorneys to access the documents of the association that they are entitled to see. This hurts the Association by charging excess fees for mitigation to see the documents.  Full transparency must be required by every HOA.  The property owners in the HOA are part owners of the HOA.

Solution to Problem #13 Summary.

All information seen by the Board Members must be easily copied, or electronically sent to any member of the actual cost to the HOA.  Commonly requested information such as email list, reserve report, committee reports, etc. must be emailed at no cost to the property owner.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #14 Summary. Reserves

Communities are REQUIRED to have reserve studies done each year. Damages to each association are disclosed each year. Most CC&Rs and the Law require associations to RESTORE PROMPTLY. Allowing any CONDO association to be in disrepair is a violation of the CC&Rs and the Law. Who is holding these Board members accountable? NO ACCOUNTABILITY OR GOVERNANCE LEADS TO THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITIES.

Under current RCWs, Associations can pass the buck of creating a proper reserve to property owners purchasing years later, thus transferring debt they created to other unsuspecting property owners.

Solutions to Problem #14 Summary.

Associations must fully fund their Reserve Fund so that all monies are available for projected maintenance and repairs.  Reserve funds not fully funded as of 1/1/2021 must decrease their deficit by 10%  per year till fully funded.

See Full Detail

 

Problem #15 Summary.   Budget vote

ALL BUDGETS SHOULD REQUIRE 51% TO PASS A BUDGET, NOT DENY A BUDGET. This is unfair to consumers that are on a fixed budget. First time homebuyers and seniors have no idea a board can double or triple assessments without the vote of the people. This is also UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Consumers are already being double taxed, plus pay taxes that do not go for what they are being charged for. Gas, sewer and water lines should be the responsibility of the municipality. Giving these rights away is unconstitutional and taxation without representation. Under the current RCWs it is almost impossible to defeat the proposed budget.

Solution to Problem #15 Summary.

The budget may be voted down by 50% of the votes represented at the budget meeting.   Proper notice of the meeting must be given.

See Full Detail

Problems and Solutions Full Detail

Problem #1 Full Detail   Violations of the Washington State Constitution

Homeowners are being fined into foreclosure with NO DUE PROCESS. The unbalanced system of HOA, takes away our constitutional rights and leaves a homeowner on unequal grounds.

US Constitution, 14th Amendment, Section 1, All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

(*Note, fining members for CCRS without due process, violates the US Constitution, 14th Amendment, Section 1)

HOAs are corporations that have been given the right to violate our Constitution and are being treated as public government bodies, (according to the Uniform Act, HOA and Condo Laws), independent of the oversights that all other governmental bodies in the USA have.  HOA/Condo Associations have been given the power of the municipality by legislators and is Unconstitutional under the WA State Constitution.

HOA Board Members frequently violate our constitutional rights guaranteed under the Washington Constitution  including but not limited to:

ARTICLE XII CORPORATIONS OTHER THAN MUNICIPAL

Article XII Section 1 SECTION 1   CORPORATIONS, HOW FORMED. Corporations may be formed under general laws, but shall not be created by special acts.  All laws relating to corporations may be altered, amended or repealed by the legislature at any time, and all corporations doing business in this state may, as to such business, be regulated, limited or restrained by law.

Article I Section 12 SECTION 12   SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES PROHIBITED.   No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.

(*Note, fining members for CCRS that are more restrictive than the County Codes and State Laws is a violation of Article I Section 12)

Article I Section 2 SECTION 2   SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.

Article I Section 7 SECTION 7   INVASION OF PRIVATE AFFAIRS OR HOME PROHIBITED.   No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.

(*Note  As members of an HOA, we have no privacy and no sanctuary. The COA/HOA boards refuses to do their duties, violate our constitutional rights, trespassing laws, and the attorneys and property managers allow and encourage their harassment of the homeowners. )

CIVIL RIGHTS LIABILITY UNDER 42 U.S.C. § 1983 demands that the government protects United States Citizens from anyone who breaks Due Process and our Civil Rights.

Due Process, a plaintiff must show: (1) that he possessed a constitutionally protected property interest; and (2) that he was deprived of that interest without due process of law. Due process property interests are created by "existing rules or understandings that stem from an independent source such as state law--rules or understanding that secure certain benefits and that support claims of entitlement to those benefits." To have a property interest protected by the Due Process Clause, "a person must have more than an abstract need or desire for it.  He must have more than a unilateral expectation of it.

There is no requirement to sue in federal court because state courts have concurrent jurisdiction, and the usual rule is exhaustion of administrative and judicial state remedies is not a prerequisite to a section 1983 action. Local governments have no immunity from damages flowing from their constitutional violations, and may not assert the good faith of its agents as a defense to liability. Further, state law sovereign immunity and state law limitations on damages do not protect local governments from liability under section 1983, and state laws requiring pre-suit notification prior to initiating an action against the state or its subdivisions similarly do not apply.

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Solutions to Problem #1 Full Detail

 

Amend RCW 64.38.025(1.5)  Board Members who knowingly violate the Washington State HOA laws, the WA Constitution or knowingly mis-enforce or misrepresent the HOA CCRs will be subject to fines, imprisonment or both.  The initial fine must be not less than $1000 and not more than $10000 plus a daily fine appropriate for the situation until the Board Member(s) correct their action or vote and remedy the problem for the property owner including any reimbursements necessary.  Repeat offenders will receive the appropriate fine, banned from being on any HOA Board for a period at least 5 years and or incarceration for no more than 1 year.

Washington State Fair Collection Laws, RCW 19.16 must apply to HOAs and any representative participating in collections for the HOA, attorneys, collection agencies or others.   All Federal and Washington State Fair Housing Laws must apply to HOA and Condo Associations

Board Members must be responsible to the same government ethics requirements, investigation and additional penalties as the mayor of a city in the State of Washington.  There must be no statute of limitations on the reporting and prosecution of these laws.

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Problem #2 Full Detail Penalties in the Law

Association Board members, Property Managers and Attorneys are held HARMLESS…The Homeowners lose their home!

Although there are laws that are aimed at controlling the power of the HOA Board and Board Members, because those laws are civil and not criminal, enforcement is general left to the HOA member-homeowners themselves.   When the board violates the laws, the member-homeowners is in the position where they must risk their money on attorney’s and court costs to enforce the law.  Conversely, the offending Board Member is either using the HOA insurance money or the collective HOA money for their attorney’s fees and court costs.  Thus, HOA Board Members often violate HOA laws or governing documents of the HOA, knowing they have no liability or risk.  Adding the Attorney general’s office as oversight is needed. The AG’s office should be able to fine Board Members for the violation of the law and CC&Rs, just as homeowners are fined for violating the CC&Rs.

Because of this dynamic, often property owners have to surrender to illegal and/or unethical actions of the Board, simply because they can’t afford the legal costs.  Member-homeowners and member-board member are on unequal footing.  This has created a situation ripe for abuse of power. If we allow corporations to act as governments and give them the power of municipality, if we don’t have governance of these corporations, that is Tyranny of Government.  Legislators should protect our rights, not give them away.

Property owners buying into an HOA generally don’t realize that they are in effect, buying into  the equivalent of a foreign dictatorship, where those in power have no oversight. All corporations are under the governance of the government, but the Washington State government ignores these corporations.   All CC&Rs should have a written warning on the front cover of the CCRs stating that the potential homeowner is:

  • signing away their constitutional rights
  • giving power of attorney of their home to their HOA
  • giving power to the Board to raise your dues without limit and without your consent

 

The HOA Board Members should be required by law to sign these documents and held responsible for the fraud and violations of the Washington State Constitution included in them.

Solution to Problem #2 Full Detail

Penalties should be added to the law that fine and prescribe jail time for Board Members, and Committee Members who are empowered to make decisions by the Board, who knowingly violate the laws or covenants.  The laws should also provide compensation for damages suffered by property owners due to the illegal actions of the Board Member(s).  Board Members should also be responsible to same government ethics authorities as their State legislators. If the Association can fine homeowners and offer NO DUE PROCESS, then the board should be offered the same. Homeowners who violate the CC&Rs are fined, so should the board. Since Property Managers and Attorneys are automatically held harmless, they allow the board to violate the CC&Rs for profit.

Adding penalties to the law would change the entire dynamic.  The property owner’s money would no longer be at risk, the Board Member could no longer hide behind the corporation when knowingly violating laws.   Instead of the property owner’s money being against the HOA’s collective funds or the HOA’s Insurance Company, it would be the State Prosecutor against the violating Board Member.   This would offer much more protection for property owners.

HOAs are not like any other business.  They are not just providing a product or a service, they are governments and should fall under all the rules all other governments fall under.  Allowing uneducated “volunteers” to run unofficial governments with no oversights that control multimillions of dollars of homeowner’s money, is irresponsible and wrong. Legislators have created Uniform Acts that leave homeowners defenseless and on unequal ground.

All, FAIR HOUSING LAWS should apply to HOA/Condo Communities.

There have been many abuses by HOA boards in the past.  Many of these have significantly affected people’s lives, retirement and financial situation and many are still suffering from the effect of these past situations.   There should be no statute of limitation on reporting and prosecution past infractions of these laws.


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Problem #3 Full Detail  Member Communication

Homeowners have no way of communicating with neighbors. How do we have Fair Elections, if the homeowners cannot communicate with one another?

Member Communication.   In many HOAs, especially those with a large number of properties or many that are second homes or vacation properties, it is very difficult for the members to communicate freely with each other.  To allow free and convenient communication between HOA members, all members must supply an email address that will be shared electronically with all of the other members at no cost for the list.

 

Solution to Problem #3 Full Detail

 

Amend RCW 64.38.015    To allow free and convenient communication between HOA members, all members must supply an email address that will be shared electronically by the HOA with all of the other members at no cost for the list.  The list must include the HOA property owner’s name, HOA property address, mailing address, email address and phone number.  For property owners without knowledge of email use, the HOA will create a free email address for them on a free service such as Gmail or equivalent, in a manner that the HOA organization is not able to read, or control the private email of the property owner. All members and all office staff with access to the list will sign an agreement to not share the email addresses with anyone outside the HOA and to only use the email for HOA related issues.

64.90.495 (2)(i) Unlisted telephone numbers or electronic address of the property owners.   All phone numbers are to be considered listed unless specified unlisted by the property owner.   To allow free and convenient communication between HOA members, all members must supply an email address that will be shared electronically by the HOA with all of the other members at no cost for the list.  The list must include the HOA property owner’s name, HOA property address, mailing address, email address and phone number.    For property owners without knowledge of email use, the HOA will create a free email address for them on a free service such as Gmail or equivalent, in a manner that the HOA organization is not able to read, or control the private email of the property owner. All members and all office staff with access to the list will sign an agreement to not share the email addresses with anyone outside the HOA and to only use the email for HOA related issues.


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Problem #4 Full Detail   Amplified fees

Late fees and Fines have additional fees added, such as late fees, administration fees, attorney fees. These fees are due in 30 days or Liens and Foreclosure with begin, with NO DUE Process offered for a homeowner to defend their actions!

Fines, late fees and attorney’s fees often far exceed the value of the fine, back dues and/or assessments.   Recently a woman forgot to pay her annual dues of about $350 and ended up paying almost $8000 with the fines, late fees and attorney’s fees. Attorneys know that in order to foreclose in WA a homeowner has to be 6 months past due in Assessments, but this includes attorney’s fees.  So when attorneys add their fees, they can then foreclose in 90 days. The Association should not be able to lien and foreclose for any attorney fees or fines, only actual assessments.

All challenged fines should be handled in small claims court, with NO Attorneys. This allows for due process and an impartial tribunal.    HOAs should not be allowed to appeal the small claims court decisions or file in any other court for decisions on CCR violations or fines.  Both parties may consult attorneys for legal advice, but they can not be present in court.

 

Solution to Problem #4 Full Detail

Amend 64.38.050.   For collections, the total of attorney’s fees, late fees, fines and all other fees can not exceed twice the original funds owed.   To start foreclosure the property owner must be 6 months behind on dues and/or assessments, not including fines, interest, HOA late fees, attorney’s fees our court costs.  In addition the HOA has a duty to mitigate the collection costs to the least possible amount. If the property owner disputes the claim, all fines, interest and HOA fees related to that issue, must cease until the issue is resolved.  For CCR and other fines, all fine challenges must be handled in small claims court, with NO Attorneys. This allows for due process and an impartial tribunal. HOAs must not appeal the small claims court decisions or file in any other court for decisions on CCR violations or fines.

All challenged fines should be handled in small claims court, with NO Attorneys. This allows for due process and an impartial tribunal.    HOAs should not be allowed to appeal the small claims court decisions or file in any other court for decisions on CCR violations or fines.  Both parties may consult attorneys for legal advice, but they can not be present in court.

 

Add 64.90.485 (1)(a) The total of attorney’s fees, late fees, fines and all other fees can not exceed $2000 or twice the original funds owed, whichever is less.   To start foreclosure the property owner must be 6 months behind on dues and/or assessments, not including fines, interest, HOA late fees, attorney’s fees our court costs.  In addition the HOA has a duty to mitigate the collection costs to the least possible amount. If the property owner disputes the claim, all fines, interest and HOA fees related to that issue, must cease until the issue is resolved.  For CCR and other fines, all fine challenges must be handled in small claims court, with NO Attorneys. This allows for due process and an impartial tribunal. HOAs must not appeal the small claims court decisions or file in any other court for decisions on CCR violations or fines.

Modify 64.90.485 (3)(a)(ii) The association's actual costs and reasonable and allowed attorneys' fees incurred in foreclosing its lien but incurred after the giving of the notice described in (a)(iii) of this subsection; provided, however, that the costs and reasonable and allowed attorneys' fees that will have priority under this subsection (3)(a)(ii) shall not exceed two thousand dollars or an amount equal to the amounts described in (a)(i) (1)(a) of this subsection, whichever is less;

 

Modify 64.90.485 (6) Non-judicial foreclosures are not allowed in the state of Washington.  If the association forecloses its lien under this section nonjudicially pursuant to chapter 61.24 RCW, as provided under subsection (13) of this section, the association is not entitled to the lien priority provided for under subsection (3) of this section, and is subject to the limitations on deficiency judgments as provided in chapter 61.24 RCW.

 

Modify 64.90.485  (13) The association's lien may be foreclosed in accordance with (a) and (b) of this subsection.

(a) In a common interest community other than a cooperative, the association's lien may be foreclosed judicially in accordance with chapter 61.12 RCW, subject to any rights of redemption under chapter 6.23 RCW.

(b) The lien may be enforced nonjudicially in the manner set forth in chapter 61.24 RCW for nonjudicial foreclosure of deeds of trust if the declaration: Contains a grant of the common interest community in trust to a trustee qualified under RCW 61.24.010 to secure the obligations of the unit owners to the association for the payment of assessments, contains a power of sale, provides in its terms that the units are not used principally for agricultural purposes, and provides that the power of sale is operative in the case of a default in the obligation to pay assessments. The association or its authorized representative may purchase the unit at the foreclosure sale and acquire, hold, lease, mortgage, or convey the unit. Upon an express waiver in the complaint of any right to a deficiency judgment in a judicial foreclosure action, the period of redemption is eight months.

 

Modify 64.90.485  (14) If the unit owner's interest in a unit in a cooperative is real estate, the following requirements apply:

(a) The association, upon nonpayment of assessments and compliance with this subsection, may file for judicial foreclosure and then sell that unit at a public sale or by private negotiation, and at any time and place at the current market value of that property as determined through realtor comps by the County Mediation Center.

 

Modify 64.90.485  (19) The association is entitled to recover any costs and reasonable and allowed attorneys' fees as defined in (1)(a) incurred in connection with the collection of delinquent assessments, whether or not such collection activities result in a suit being commenced or prosecuted to judgment. The prevailing party is also entitled to recover costs and reasonable attorneys' fees in such suits, including any appeals, if it prevails on appeal and in the enforcement of a judgment or in the case where the association files but then drops the suit before the judgement the member is entitled to recover attorney’s fees.

 

Modify 64.90.485  (21) An association may not commence an action to foreclose a lien on a unit under this section unless:

(a) The unit owner, at the time the action is commenced, owes a sum equal to at least three months of common expense assessments not including attorney’s fees, late fees, fines and all other fees; and

(b) The board approves commencement of a foreclosure action specifically against that unit.


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Problem #5 Full Detail  Stakeholders

 

Homeowners are the STAKEHOLDERS. Any other corporation is just a Trades group being paid and financed by the HOMEOWNERS. It is unjust to say that anyone profiting from the demise of Homeowners is an actual stakeholder.

The only stakeholders involved in HOAs are the property owners.  Others should be considered third parties that profit from HOA/Condo Associations. These trades groups should not be involved in making laws, since they profit only from the demise of homeowners. The HOA is supposed to be there for the benefit of the property owners and the legislature’s goal should be to protect the property owners. Trades groups’ bylaws do not allow them to represent the interests of the property owner or the Association, so therefore they should not be allowed to write laws that violate the constitutional rights of the property owner.

 

Solution to Problem #5 Full Detail

RCW 64.38.005  ADD:  These laws must be designed to protect the individual property owners of properties within an HOA.  The rights of the property owners must be of priority when considering any changes to the laws.  The interests of third parties such as external associations, management companies, attorneys and other third parties must not be a consideration if they may negatively affect the individual property owner.

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Problem #6 Full Detail  Uniform Enforcement

Boards have to monitor themselves. Violating the CC&Rs and the law is overlooked, if you serve on the Board. Unchecked Power Corrupts.

In many HOAs small groups of people with special interests take over Boards and make decisions for their own property benefit while damaging the other properties. Board Members have the fiduciary responsibility to make decisions that benefit at least the majority of the community, but preferably equally to the entire community.   Board Members, PMs and attorneys are responsible to the homeowners.  At any point that a PM or attorney is aware of any violations of this section by a Board Member, it is the fiduciary responsibility of the PM or attorney to advise the Board member and if the situation is not immediately rectified, to report the violation to the State.

All CCRs must be enforced equally or removed.  Boards can not engage in selective enforcement or make wavers for one member but not others for similar issues.  Often property owners are fined for covenants that don’t exist and are assessed fines.  Boards incorrectly interpret vague language in their CCRs resulting in large variations in enforcement. If a homeowner can prove the Board, Property Manager (PM) or Attorney have knowingly violated the enforcement of CC&Rs, the board must step down and PM or Attorney must be let go immediately. Also, the PM and Attorney should NEVER be held HARMLESS. They should have the liability of prosecution for allowing a board to violate the property owner’s rights.

 

Solution to Problem #6 Full Detail

Amend RCW 64.38.030  Board Members, PMs and Attorneys working for HOAs have the fiduciary responsibility to make decisions that benefit at least the majority of the community, but preferably equally to the entire community as well as protecting the rights of the individual property owners.   Board Members, PMs and Attorneys are responsible to the homeowners, both individually and as a whole, not to the Board or the HOA organization. At any point that a PM or attorney is aware of any violations of the Washington State HOA RCWs by a Board Member, it is the fiduciary responsibility of the PM or attorney to advise the Board member of the laws, and if the situation is not immediately rectified, to report the violation to the State and copy the offended property owner. All CCRs must be enforced equally or removed.  Boards must not engage in selective enforcement.  No individual wavers of the CCRs must be allowed.  Enforcement of the CCRs is limited to specific stated requirements within the CCRs.  General statements such as “properties must be maintained in an attractive manner” are not enforceable by an HOA.  CCRs must be specific such as “grass lawns may not be more than 6” tall.”

RCW 64.90.500

Association as trustee.

With respect to a third person, other than Attorneys and Property Managers, dealing with the association in the association's capacity as a trustee, the existence of trust powers and their proper exercise by the association may be assumed without inquiry. A third person is not bound to inquire whether the association has power to act as trustee or is properly exercising trust powers. A third person, without actual knowledge that the association is exceeding or improperly exercising its powers, is fully protected in dealing with the association as if it possessed and properly exercised the powers it purports to exercise. A third person is not bound to assure the proper application of trust assets paid or delivered to the association in its capacity as trustee.

Modify RCW 64.90.520   Officers and board members—Removal.

(1) Unit owners present in person, by proxy, or by absentee ballot at any meeting of the unit owners at which a quorum is present may remove any board member and any officer elected by the unit owners, with or without cause, if the number of votes in favor of removal cast by unit owners entitled to vote for election of the board member or officer proposed to be removed is at least a majority of the votes in the association held by such unit owners or (b) two-thirds  majority of the votes cast by such unit owners at the meeting, but:

(iii) The unit owners may not consider whether to remove a board member or officer at a meeting of the unit owners unless that subject was listed in the notice of the meeting.  Any petition to the Association, containing the property owners’s names, addresses in the association, and signatures,  of  5% of the total membership or 50 signatures, whichever is less, requires that a vote take place at the next meeting that is held after 60 days from the delivery of the petition to the Association.

(4) The board may must, without a unit owner vote, remove from the board a board member or officer elected by the unit owners if …

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Problem #7 Full Detail Usurping authority

Association Boards have MORE POWER THAN THE MUNICIPALITY and are HELD HARMLESS for ALL ACTIONS.

Often HOA Boards overstep their authority.  They have been known to usurp the power of local governments, and attempt to enforce the Boards “interpretation“ of a regulation or ordinance.

 

Solution to Problem #7 Full Detail

Amend RCW 64.38.020   An HOA’s authority is limited to the enforcement rules and fines stated specifically in their CCRs.  HOAs do not have authority to enforce laws or ordinances.  General statements in the HOA’s governing documents indicating that members must follow all applicable laws and/or ordinances does not give the HOA the authority to enforce laws or ordinances.

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Problem #8 Full Detail  Hidden covenants and fines

Consumers have no idea that a Board can change the Rules at anytime or can charge a special assessment for any reason. Who is training the homeowners? NO ONE should have to pay to learn how to live in their home. What happened to the TRUTH IN LENDING?  

Many times people buy properties in HOAs either not knowing the property is in an HOA, or not aware that there are additional rules or fines that are not mentioned in the covenants.

 

Solution to Problem #8 Full Detail

Amend RCW 64.38.020   All rules of the HOA and all applicable fines must be in the covenants.   The covenants must be presented to prospective property buyers before they make an offer on the property.  The CCR document must be signed by the prospective property buyer and included in the offer documentation when a prospective buyer is making an offer on a property that is in an HOA.  Resale certs found to be fraudulent, should be prosecuted as FRAUD!!

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Problem #9 Full Detail

The RESALE CERTIFICATE MATTERS. Who is teaching consumers what they need to know about purchasing into a CORPORATION? WE REALLY AREN’T PURCHASING A HOME OR CONDO, BUT A SPOT IN A CORPORATION WITH NO VOTING POWER AND NO RIGHTS.

Property owners buy into an HOA under a set of covenants.   A new group of Board Members may take over and completely change the rules, impinging on the property owners rights.  HOAs should not be able to take away property rights after the property was purchased under one set of Covenants.

 


Solution to Problem #9 Full Detail

Once a property owner purchases a property, the HOA must not add additional covenants or fines on private properties.  Covenants and/or fines may be removed by a majority vote of the total membership at any time.   Rules for common areas may be adopted, amended, or repealed by a majority vote of the total membership at any time.

RCW 64.90.010

Definitions.

(49) "Rule" means a policy, guideline, restriction, procedure, or regulation of an association, however denominated, that is not set forth in the declaration or organizational documents and governs the conduct of persons or the use or appearance of common property or conduct of persons while using that property.

RCW 64.90.505

Rules and Covenants—Notice.

(1) Unless the declaration provides otherwise, the board must, before adopting, amending, or repealing any rule, Covenants, give all unit owners notice of:

(a) Its intention to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule covenant and provide the text of the rule covenant or the proposed change; and

(b) A date on which the board will act members will vote on the change. proposed rule or amendment after considering comments from unit owners.

(2) Following adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule, the vote the association must give notice to the unit owners of its action and provide a copy of any new or revised rule the CCRs if the Covenant was repealed.

(3) If the declaration so provides, an association may adopt rules to establish and enforce construction and design criteria and aesthetic standards and, if so, must adopt procedures for enforcement of those standards and for approval of construction applications, including a reasonable time within which the association must act after an application is submitted and the consequences of its failure to act.

(4) An association's internal business operating procedures need not be adopted as rules covenants.

(5) Every rule Covenant must be reasonable and apply and be enforced equally to all.

(6) Unless the declaration provides otherwise, the board must, before adopting, amending, or repealing any rule, give all unit owners notice of:

(a) Its intention to adopt, amend, or repeal a rule and provide the text of the rule or the proposed change; and

(b) A date on which the board will act members will vote on the proposed rule or amendment after considering comments from unit owners.

(7) Following adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule, the association must give notice to the unit owners of its action and provide a copy of any new or revised rule.

(8) If the declaration so provides, an association may adopt rules to establish and enforce construction and design criteria and aesthetic standards and, if so, must adopt procedures for enforcement of those standards and for approval of construction applications, including a reasonable time within which the association must act after an application is submitted and the consequences of its failure to act.

(9) An association's internal business operating procedures need not be adopted as rules.

(10) Rules must be reasonable, and be applied and enforced equally to all.

 

64.90.510 (9)(b) Regulate any behavior in or occupancy of a unit that violates the declaration or adversely affects the use and enjoyment of other units or the common elements by other occupants; and

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Problem #10 Full Detail  Liens and foreclosures

Attorneys representing an association charge more than a foreclosure in many cases. This financial burden hurts all the rest of the homeowners paying these fees. FAIR FORECLOSURE LAWS DO NOT APPLY TO HOA/ CONDO OWNERS.

Property owners get in unexpected situations, like Covid.  They have good intentions to pay their HOA dues, assessments but an emergency comes up and they can’t.  Often liens and foreclosures are filed without the property owner aware.   A solution would be similar to what banks do with house loans, collect HOA fees through the mortgage escrow with a monthly payment.  ALL HOA/CONDO DUES SHOULD BE PAID FROM HOMEOWNERS ESCROW ACCOUNTS, making it impossible to be late in paying assessments. If the owner of the home does not have a mortgage then the HOA owner should have a choice to pay all up front, or pay quarterly or monthly with no interest, prior to being due. No liens or foreclosures for fines. Small claims court can be used for all complaints due to being under $10,000, therefore eliminating the need of attorneys.

If the owner of the home does not have a mortgage then the HOA owner should have a choice to pay all up front, or pay quarterly or monthly with no interest.  All other collection routes should be taken, such as small claims court, alternative payment plans, garnishments, etc. before foreclosure can be started.   Homeowner should receive 60 day notice before foreclosure can start.  Properties should be sold in foreclosure at fair market price and the balance after paying the debt, court costs and legal fees should be returned to the property owner.  All efforts should be taken to minimize damage to the property owner and mitigate the legal costs.

 

Solution to Problem #10 Full Detail

Amend  64.38.050.  All HOA dues and assessments, must be collected through the mortgage escrow with the property monthly payment or paid in full annually at the option of the property owner.    All assessments to be allowed to be spread over one year, more if possible.  If the owner of the home does not pay mortgage then the HOA owner must have a choice to pay the HOA all up front, or pay quarterly or monthly, prior to being due.  HOAs must provide a monthly bill/invoice for dues and assessments showing the due date, monthly charge and the total balance. HOAs may charge interest on all payments up to the current lowest mortgage interest rates.

For any collection, whether for dues, assessments, fines, etc., all other collection routes must be taken, such as alternative payment plans, small claims court, garnishments, etc. before liens, or foreclosure can be started.   All collections under $10,000 must be handled through small claims court.

Homeowner must receive at least 30 day notice of late payment with a 30 day period to file a dispute. (See Exhibit “a” SAMPLE NOTICE.”  The notice must include instructions on how to dispute the claim and how to file with the HOA for a hearing before the HOA Board.  If the HOA management can not resolve the issue with the property owner, the owner has the right to an appeal hearing before the Board.  If the property owner disputes the charges, all fines, late charges and interest must stop until the issue is resolved.  The Board’s decision must be in writing, mailed or emailed within 7 days and include a complete explanation for the decision.  Should the Board hearing not resolve the situation, HOA property owners, upon receipt of the Board decision, must have the right to appropriate mediation at a mediation center of their choice.  The Board must supply contact information for the local free or low cost County and other mediation options included with their decision.

If the HOA intends to file a lean or foreclosure, the property owner must have the right to be referred to the WA FFA mediation program, just like mortgagors.   Instructions, such as the Sample Notice below must be sent with the Board decision explaining how to opt for the WA FFA mediation program, and the property owner’s rights to an attorney and for judicial review of their case.  This and all further notices sent by the HOA must include these instructions and all must include proof of service.

If the issue is not resolved through mediation and the HOA desires to file a lean, the HOA property owner must receive a 30 day notice that a lean will be filed.  If not resolved after 30 days, the lean may be filed.  If foreclosure is the only remaining collection option, the HOA must provide a 120 day notice of intent to foreclose. There is a deadline of 20 days after the Notice of Foreclosure/Sheriff Sale to exercise the right to mediation. The HOA notice must make the property owner aware of this right with instructions as to how to file for WA FFA mediation, and the deadline.   The HOA and property owner must split the mediation fees. All property owners have the right to judicial process before a lean or foreclosure begins.

Properties must be sold in foreclosure at fair market price and the balance after paying the debt, court costs and legal fees must be returned to the property owner.  All efforts must be taken to minimize damage to the property owner and mitigate the collection and legal costs.

HOA violations of the above are considered per se CPA violations with treble damages and attorney fees as the penalty.

Modify 64.90.485  (6) Non-judicial foreclosures are not allowed.  If the association forecloses its lien under this section nonjudicially pursuant to chapter 61.24 RCW, as provided under subsection (13) of this section, the association is not entitled to the lien priority provided for under subsection (3) of this section, and is subject to the limitations on deficiency judgments as provided in chapter 61.24 RCW

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Problem #11 Full Detail   No profit from ownership of any individual property.

Fair and Equal is the law. NO LAW SHALL BE PASSED…Fair insurance laws do not apply to Condo Owners. Board Members should NEVER be the ADJUSTER for an insurance claim. WA State has “IFCA”, but that does not apply to HOA/Condo owners. Who protects us and why isn’t the law fair and equal?

HOAs should not make a profit through ownership any individual property.  HOAs should not be allowed to redirect funds from insurance claims or other incomes connected to one property to improve other properties.  For example, HOAs may not charge homeowners for RV or boat storage, charge them more than the actual costs to the HOA, and then use the additional funds to make improvements or maintenance to a different property or put it in the general fund.

Solution to Problem #11 Full Detail

Amend RCW 64.38.020 (8) yet HOAs must not make a profit through ownership any individual property.  HOAs must not redirect funds from insurance claims or other incomes connected to one property to improve or maintain other properties or put those funds in a general fund.  All revenues and incomes derived from a property must be used to repair, improve or maintain that property.

64.90.470 (5) Any loss covered by the property insurance policy under subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section must be adjusted with the association, but the insurance proceeds for that loss are payable to by the local county mediation services any insurance trustee designated for that purpose, or otherwise to the association,  and not by the Association, their representatives, or any holder of a security interest. The insurance trustee or the association must hold any insurance proceeds in trust for the association, unit owners, and lienholders as their interests may appear. Subject to subsection (8) of this section, the proceeds must be disbursed first for the repair or replacement of the damaged property to bring it back to original condition before the incident, and the association, unit owners, and lienholders are not entitled to receive payment of any portion of the proceeds unless there is a surplus of proceeds after the property has been completely repaired or replaced, or the common interest community is terminated.

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Problem #12 Full Detail  One set of laws

The WA State Constitution demands that NO LAW SHALL BE PASSED…Homeowners are not allowed to sign away their rights in a Private Contract. Legislators violated the constitution when they wrote the Uniform Acts.

There should be one set of laws in the State of Washington that applies to all.   If you read through 64.90 you will see that it refers to other sets of HOA laws, 64.32, 64.34, 64.38.   The HOA Boards may choose which sets of laws to follow.   64.90 was written to include all forms of HOAs and should be the singular law of the State of Washington.   It does not make sense to write laws to remedy problems and then allow people to choose whether or not to follow them.

Solution to Problem #12 Full Detail

Modify  64.90 to specify that it replaces 64.32, 64.34, 64.38 and requires HOAs of all forms to adhere to 64.90 now and modify their declarations so that they comply within a one year period.

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Problem #13 Full Detail  Lack of Transparency.

Homeowners have to fight Boards, Property Managers and Attorneys to access the documents of the association that they are entitled to see. This hurts the Association by charging excess fees for mitigation to see the documents.

Full transparency must be required by every HOA.  The property owners in the HOA are part owners of the HOA.   All information seen by the Board Members should be easily, copied, or electronically sent to any member.

Solution to Problem #13 Full Detail

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, all records required to be retained by an association must be made available for examination and copying by all unit owners, holders of mortgages on the units, and their respective authorized agents as follows, unless agreed otherwise:

Add 64.90.495 (2)(c) and records must be sent electronically by request, in pdf, word or other available format as requested by the property owner.

Add 64.90.495 (3)(c) Existing or potential litigation or mediation, arbitration, or administrative proceedings; unless related only to HOA property owners such as enforcement of covenants.

Add 64.90.495 (3)(d) Existing or potential matters involving federal, state, or local administrative or other formal proceedings before a governmental tribunal for enforcement of the governing documents; unless related only to HOA property owners such as enforcement of covenants.

Add 64.90.495 (3)(e) Legal advice or communications that are otherwise protected by the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine, including communications with the managing agent or other agent of the association; unless related only to HOA property owners such as enforcement of covenants.

(h) Individual unit files other than those of the requesting unit owner;

64.90.495 (3)(i) Unlisted telephone numbers or electronic address of the property owners.   All phone numbers are to be considered listed unless specified unlisted by the property owner.   To allow free and convenient communication between HOA members, all members must supply an email address that will be shared electronically by the HOA with all of the other members at no cost for the list.  The list must include the HOA property owner’s name, HOA property address, mailing address, email address and phone number.    For property owners without knowledge of email use, the HOA will create a free email address for them on a free service such as Gmail or equivalent, in a manner that the HOA organization is not able to read, or control the private email of the property owner. All members and all office staff with access to the list will sign an agreement to not share the email addresses with anyone outside the HOA and to only use the email for HOA related issues.

64.90.495 (3)(k) Agreements that for good cause prohibit disclosure to the members.

 

64.90.495 (4) An association may charge a reasonable fee for producing and providing copies of any records under this section and for supervising the unit owner's inspection, or for sending electronic copies, but no more than their actual costs, plus the prorated hourly pay of the employee sending the records.  The least costly employee available should be used for this purpose.

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Problem #14 Full Detail Reserves

Communities are REQUIRED to have reserve studies done each year. Damages to each association are disclosed each year. Most CC&Rs and the Law require associations to RESTORE PROMPTLY. Allowing any CONDO association to be in disrepair is a violation of the CC&Rs and the Law. Who is holding these Board members accountable? NO ACCOUNTABILITY OR GOVERNANCE LEADS TO THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR COMMUNITIES.

Under current RCWs, Associations pass the buck of creating a proper reserve to property owners purchasing years later, thus transferring debt they created to other unsuspecting property owners.

 

Solutions to Problem Full Detail #14

64.90.535 (b) Reserves must be fully funded for depreciated amounts of the current assets.  Reserves that are not fully funded as of 1/1/2021 must increase their reserve by 10% of the current difference annually for 10 years until fully funded.

64.90.550 (2)(l) A statement of the amount of any current deficit or surplus in reserve funding expressed on a dollars per unit basis. The amount is calculated by subtracting the association's reserve account balance as of the date of the study from the fully funded balance, and then multiplying the result by the fraction or percentage of the common expenses of the association allocable to each unit; except that if the fraction or percentage of the common expenses of the association allocable vary by unit, the association must calculate any current deficit or surplus in a manner that reflects the variation.

RCW 64.90.555   Reserve study—Demand—Enforcement.

(2) One or more unit owners may bring an action to enforce the requirements of this section and RCW 64.90.545 and 64.90.550. In such an action, a court may order specific performance and may award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to the prevailing party.   …may file a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office if this section is not followed by the Association Board.

RCW 64.90.560  Reserve account—Reserve study—Reserve disclosure—Liability.

Except for penalties described in the law an award for attorneys' fees and costs under RCW 64.90.555(2), monetary damages or other liability may not be awarded against or imposed upon the association or its officers or board members, or upon any person who may have provided advice or assistance to the association or its officers or board members, for failure to: Establish or replenish a reserve account, have a current reserve study prepared or updated in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, or make reserve disclosures in accordance with this chapter.

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Problem #15 Full Detail  Budget vote

ALL BUDGETS SHOULD REQUIRE 51% TO PASS A BUDGET, NOT DENY A BUDGET. This is unfair to consumers that are on a fixed budget. First time homebuyers and seniors have no idea a board can double or triple assessments without the vote of the people. This is also UNCONSTITUTIONAL.  Consumers are already being double taxed, plus pay taxes that do not go for what they are being charged for. Gas, sewer and water lines should be the responsibility of the municipality. Giving these rights away is unconstitutional and taxation without representation.

Under the current RCWs it is almost impossible to defeat the proposed budget.

Solution to Problem #15 Full Detail

RCW 64.90.525   Budgets—Assessments—Special assessments.

(1)(a) Within thirty days after adoption of any proposed budget for the common interest community, the board must provide a copy of the budget to all the unit owners and set a date for a meeting of the unit owners to consider ratification of the budget not less than fourteen nor more than fifty days after providing the budget. Unless at that meeting 50% or more of the unit owners represented at the meeting  of units to which a majority of the votes in the association are allocated or any larger percentage specified in the declaration  reject the budget, the budget and the assessments against the units included in the budget are ratified, whether or not a quorum is present.

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          Exhibit “A”

Sample Notice

 

 

 

"THIS NOTICE IS ONE STEP IN A PROCESS THAT COULD RESULT IN YOUR

LOSING YOUR HOME.

 

You may be eligible for mediation in front of a neutral third party to help save your home.

CONTACT A HOUSING COUNSELOR OR AN ATTORNEY LICENSED IN WASHINGTON NOW to assess your situation and refer you to mediation if you might benefit. Mediation MUST be requested between the time you receive the Notice of Default and no later than twenty days after the Notice of Foreclosure/Sheriff Sale is recorded.

DO NOT DELAY. If you do nothing, a notice of sale may be issued as soon as 30 days from the date of this notice of default. The notice of sale will provide a minimum of 120 days' notice of the date of the actual foreclosure sale.

BE CAREFUL of people who claim they can help you. There are many individuals and businesses that prey upon borrowers in distress.

REFER TO THE CONTACTS BELOW for sources of assistance.

SEEKING ASSISTANCE

Housing counselors and legal assistance may be available at little or no cost to you. If you would like assistance in determining your rights and opportunities to keep your house, you may contact the following:

The statewide foreclosure hotline for assistance and referral to housing counselors recommended by the Housing Finance Commission

Telephone: . . . . . . . Web site: . . . . . .

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Telephone: . . . . . . . Web site: . . . . . . .

The statewide civil legal aid hotline for assistance and referrals to other housing counselors and attorneys

Telephone: . . . . . . . Web site: . . . . . ."

 

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If you support our proposals and will vote in favor of them, please click on THIS LINK, it will open an email that states that you support our proposals and will vote in favor of them.  You just have to hit the send button.  We will show your name on our site as endorsing our proposals.  Please click the link now.***
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Click here for a list of others supporting this bill.

Need more convincing?  Below are links to some Horror Stories of real people who own or owned property in Washington State HOAs.
https://hoa-review.com/directory-hoa/surfside-hoa-ocean-park-wa/durdel-horror-story/

https://hoa-review.com/directory-hoa/surfside-hoa-ocean-park-wa/ottersen-case/

https://hoa-review.com/directory-hoa/surfside-hoa-ocean-park-wa/surfside-hoa-vs-johansen-shed-roof-extension/

Three accounts of why they sold their property in Surfside HOA, Ocean Park, WA  https://hoa-review.com/2020/03/why-we-left-surfside/

Letter sent to Pacific County Prosecutor, County Commissioners, Governor’s Office, Attorney General and State Consumer Affairs.  https://hoa-review.com/directory-hoa/surfside-hoa-ocean-park-wa/surfside-rcw-county-possibly-federal-violations/

The problems with HOAs are recognized nationally.  GEICO realized that such a large number of people had experienced hardships with HOAs, they used that fact to get attention in a national commercial.

Geico HOA Commercial

Many suffer significant financial damage, many even losing their homes due to HOA abuse.

Photo by Jeremy Wong
Sheep and Wolves

Raelene Shifano found her self constantly receiving false CCR complaints from her HOA, and they refused to restore her leaking roof although they had received the insurance money to pay for the needed repairs.  Click picture above to see full story.

Patricia Quigley (above), lost her home do to the HOA foreclosing.   She then discovered that the same HOA had bought her house at the Sheriff's sale for $3.24.  Click the picture above to see the full story.

Patrick's Shed

Patrick Johansen and his wife Karla had 6 years of their lives damaged when their HOA claimed their shed roof violated their CCRs.  At their appeal to the Surfside HOA Board, the Board could not find a CCR they had violated but vote 5 to 4 to force him to take his shed roof extension down.  Click the picture above to learn more.

Roy Ottersen is legally blind and very hard of hearing.   According to Roy Ottersen, a Board Member of Surfside HOA, who was also the Chairman of the Architectural committee, Chris Hanson, was one of his neighbers.  Chris wanted to buy some wood from Roy, Roy refused to sell.  Chris became angry, trespassed on his property and wrote him up for four false complaints.   This sent Roy and his wife on a 3 year saga of anger and frustration attempting to defend himself from the four false accusations.  Click Roy's picture above to learn more.

Need more convincing?

Below are links to some Horror Stories of real people who own or owned property in Washington State HOAs:

 

Three accounts of why they sold their property in Surfside HOA, Ocean Park, WA: 

 

Letter sent to Pacific County Prosecutor, County Commissioners, Governor’s Office, Attorney General and State Consumer Affairs: