The Washington Court of Appeals ruled in a recent unpublished opinion that a leasing restriction on "single-family homes" contained in the declaration of a master community does not apply to condominiums within that community. The Court reached its decision by closely examining the declaration's definitions section.
The declaration defined the term "home" as "any structure located on a lot ... intended for use and occupancy as a residence by a single family" and the term "condominium" to include "units located in duplexes, fourplexes, and other multi-dwelling-unit buildings." The Court noted that a "condominium" does not fall within this definition of a "home."
The declaration also defined the term "living unit" to mean "a building or structure or any portion thereof ... that is designated and intended for use and occupancy as a residence by a single family, including attached or detached houses, condominiums, and units within apartment buildings." The Court viewed the leasing restriction's reference to the narrower term "homes" rather then the broader term "living units" to indicate that condominiums are not covered by that restriction.
Boards of Washington condominium and homeowners associations should seek legal guidance if disputes arise regarding the meaning of their governing documents.