December 6, 2017

The Gift of Guidance

Happy holidays to all! If your condominium or homeowners association board does not work with an attorney yet, consider giving your association, your board, and yourself the gift of our legal guidance in 2018!      

November 6, 2017

Washington Appellate Court: Condominium Bylaws Amendment Is Invalid

A recent Washington unpublished opinion concerned the amendment of a condominium association’s bylaws.  The condominium’s declaration stated that amending the bylaws required the approval of a majority of the unit owners.  The bylaws were amended in 2015 without the approval of a majority of the unit owners, and an owner challenged the validity of that amendment.  The Court of Appeals ruled that the bylaws amendment was invalid.

The invalid 2015 bylaws amendment authorized the condominium association to impose assessments for limited common area expenses against the individual unit owners to which the limited common areas were assigned.  Since the declaration and the applicable state law did not authorize the imposition of limited common area expense assessments, the Court of Appeals ruled that the association could not impose such assessments.

Washington condominium and homeowners associations should obtain legal advice before they seek to amend their governing documents.    

October 27, 2017

Halloween: A Scary Time for Seattle-Area Condos and HOAs (and Their Attorneys)

Each year, some Seattle-area condos and HOAs are compelled to enforce their governing documents in response to Halloween-related activities.  One common type of enforcement action relates to installation of decorations that pose a fire hazard or otherwise violate the governing documents.  Another common type of enforcement action relates to the vandalism and other acts of malicious mischief that sometimes occur on Halloween.  Community associations can impose fines in response to these types of activities if properly adopted and distributed fine schedules are in place.  If fines are contested, then associations should consider obtaining legal guidance. 

My law office is available to help Seattle-area condos and HOAs understand and enforce their governing documents.

October 4, 2017

Homeowners Association Orders Owner to Remove Tank

Even the parking disputes are bigger in Texas.

Houston attorney Tony Buzbee recently purchased a fully-functional World War II tank for $600,000. The board of his homeowners association was not pleased when Mr. Buzbee proceeded to park that tank outside his home. "It's not violating any ordinance, but it makes them uncomfortable," he said. The board informed Mr. Buzbee that the tank impeded traffic, caused a safety issue, and concerned some of his neighbors.

Mr. Buzbee has indicated that intends to relocate the tank to his East Texas ranch in the near future.  However, he has also stated that the tank will remain where it is for the time being. "The association can ticket it or try to tow it, but the truth is that unless I decide to move it, it ain’t going anywhere."