April 5, 2017

Court of Appeals Upholds Homeowners Association's Application of Bylaws

The Washington Court of Appeals recently upheld a homeowners association's interpretation and application of its bylaws in a published opinion.  Members of the association challenged its authority to impose membership fees and liens because they claimed that its board of directors was improperly constituted.  The association had attempted to elect board members every year, but there was no quorum at the annual meetings. The association responded by acting according to sections of its bylaws and state law that allow an appointed board member to serve out the unexpired portion of a "term"; that is, until a quorum can be reached and a proper election can be held.  The Court ruled that the association's actions to maintain a functioning board were valid.  It pointed out that the approximately 10,150 homeowners associations located in Washington "must be given room to interpret and apply their own governing documents as long as the result is neither arbitrary nor unreasonable."