October 31, 2018

WA Court: HOAs May Record Liens Without Providing Owners With Notice and Hearing

Happy Halloween!  Collecting past due assessments can certainly be scary sometimes. After one homeowners association recorded a lien on a delinquent property and obtained a judgment against its owners, they appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals.  The court ruled that the association was permitted to record the lien without providing the owners with notice and an opportunity to be heard.  

The court first pointed out that Washington law only requires homeowners associations to provide owners with notice and an opportunity to be heard before they impose fines for violating the governing documents and otherwise grants those associations discretion to establish their procedures within their governing documents. Since the governing documents of the association allow it to record a lien for delinquent assessments without notice and an opportunity to be heard, the court ruled that it may do so. The court concluded by noting that the owners were not deprived of their right to due process because the lien was based on a binding contractual agreement between them and the association (the recorded covenants).