The Washington Court of Appeals ruled in a published opinion last month that a road maintenance agreement did not create a homeowners' association and that a majority of lot owners lacked the authority to amend that agreement to adopt governing procedures.
According to the statutory definition of "homeowners association": (1) there must be a corporation, unincorporated association, or other legal entity, (2) each member of the entity must be an owner of residential real property within the entity's jurisdiction as described in its governing documents, and (3) members must be obligated to pay real property taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance costs, or for improvement of real property that the member does not own. The Court ruled that a road maintenance agreement did not create a corporation, unincorporated association, or other legal entity. As a result, a homeowners association was not formed.
The Court also considered whether the road maintenance agreement can be amended by majority vote. It decided that all lot owners must agree to any amendment because the agreement does not authorize amendments by any lesser standard. The amendments describing governing procedures were therefore invalid because they were based on a mere majority.