February 18, 2013

Leasing Vacant Properties to Collect Delinquent Assessments

All is not lost for community associations when delinquent owners conclude that they must abandon their properties.  Associations and owners have much to gain by entering into voluntary agreements that authorize associations to lease vacant properties.  The rent can then be used to pay delinquent and future assessments.  If such agreements are not possible, then Washington condominium associations also have the ability to ask courts to appoint receivers over vacant units, which can then be leased until the lenders foreclose. 

Community associations must comply with a complex web of federal, state, and local laws that relate to the landlord-tenant relationship when they lease properties.  By way of example, the Washington Residential Landlord-Tenant Act can be found here, and information about Washington's new requirement that residences must be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors can be found here.  Obtaining legal advice regarding the association’s obligations as a landlord is highly recommended.