February 2, 2021

Washington Court of Appeals Affirms HOA's Covenant Amendment

The Washington Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court's decision that a homeowners association had the authority to adopt an amendment to the covenants governing the property without a unanimous vote of the owners. The Court noted that an express reservation of power authorizing less than 100 percent of property owners within a subdivision to adopt new restrictions (as opposed to changing existing covenants) respecting the use of privately owned property is valid if such power is exercised in a reasonable manner consistent with the general plan of the development. After reviewing the association's covenants, the Court ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show that any portion of the amendment at issue was inconsistent with the general development plan, imposed unreasonable disparate impacts on their property, or were otherwise invalid.