April 5, 2021

Washington Court of Appeals Affirms HOA's Removal of Gate and Boulders

A homeowners association removed boulders and a gate that two owners had placed in a road easement and assessed those owners for the cost of that removal.  When the owners failed to pay that assessment and monthly dues, the association filed a lien foreclosure action. The trial court permitted foreclosure of the association's lien, and the Court of Appeals upheld that decision. The Court held that the covenants governing the property express the "intent to grant the homeowners association plenary power over use of the roads and to preclude any owner from obstructing a road" and grant the association the exclusive authority to erect gates.

The owners argued that the association's failure to object to the gate and boulders for twelve years supported the conclusion that the association authorized their installation. The Court of Appeals rejected that argument, noting that the covenants contained an anti-waiver clause that allows the association "to enforce any of its provisions even if it did not enforce the provision initially."