January 11, 2011

When Should Condo and HOA Boards Seek Legal Advice?

A Spokane homeowners association was recently fined $13,500 by the state for illegally burning a boat dock last June. The burning violated Washington state law because it polluted the air with toxic chemicals. It is presently unclear whether the association will appeal the fine.

Boards of condominium and homeowners associations should consult with their association's attorney before making major decisions like removing structures from their properties. An experienced community association lawyer may have identified the law prohibiting the dock burning, recommended a different method of proceeding, and saved the association a substantial amount of money. Boards considering other important matters like contracts with third parties, proposed amendments to the governing documents, and enforcement actions against owners should also give their association's attorney the opportunity to steer them clear of trouble and advise them regarding the best course of action.