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July 2018 – Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (WUCIOA)

Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (WUCIOA)

Written by: Theresa M. Torgesen, Esq.

Sound Legal Partners

 

What is it?
  • 135 page bill passed by the legislature in March – Takes effect July 1, 2018
  • Still in bill form (SSB 6175) – RCW expected Fall 2018
  • Originally intended to replace existing statutes – now opt in only
How does it affect existing communities?
  • Opt In – Section 120:
    • 1) Amend governing documents based on existing amendment requirements
    • 2) Amend governing documents with WUCIOA procedure:
      • a. Board or 20% of owners propose amendment
      • b. 30 day notice to all owners and hold meeting
      • c. After meeting, 2nd notice to owners with ballot
      • d. Amendment deemed approved if 30% of owners participate and 67% of participants approve
  • Budgets – Section 326 – Very similar to HOA and Condo Acts except:
    • 1) Requires 14-50 days’ notice, instead of 14-60 days
    • 2) Budget content changes [Section 326(2)]
    • 3) Clarifies special assessments require same process
What will be different for future communities?
Applies to all HOAs, condos and co-ops (Common Interest Communities – “CICs”) created after July 1, 2018

 

Changes for just new HOAs:
  • Incorporation before first sale – for-profit, non-profit or LLC (Section 301)
  • Resale Certificates and Public Offering Statements (Sections 402, 403 & 409)
  • Super Priority Lien – with $2,000 in costs and attorneys’ fees (Section 318)
  • Non-Judicial Foreclosure [Section 318(13)]
  • Declaration Amendment Process (Section 218)
  • Terminology – “Units”
Changes for just new Condos and Co-ops:
  • Open Board meetings required, except for executive session (Section 310)
  • Email voting and notice allowed (Sections 312 and 324)
  • Regulations of flags, political signs and solar panels (Section 323)
  • Options for Declaration Amendment Process [Section 218(9)-(13)]
Changes for all new CICs:
  • Association powers and duties – must v. may (Section 302)
    • (1) An association must:
      • (a) Adopt organizational documents;
      • (b) Adopt budgets as provided in section 326 of this act; 
      • (c) Impose assessments for common expenses and specially allocated expenses on the unit owners as provided in sections 117(1) and 326 of this act;
      • (d) Prepare financial statements as provided in section 327 of this act; and 
      • (e) Deposit and maintain the funds of the association in accounts as provided in section 327 of this act.
    • Noteworthy “mays”:
      • Move in/Move out fees
      • Lender questionnaire fees
      • Suspend owner’s rights for delinquent assessments, but NOT voting
      • Enforcement against tenants (fines)
      • Require nonbinding dispute resolution (mediation) to resolve dispute before litigation
  • Association loan authority and approval process [Section 302 (4)]
  • Association records – list of what must be kept (Section 320)
  • Association meeting notice – 14-50 days for annual, special and budget (Section 310)
  • Board meeting notice must be sent to all owners (Section 310)
  • Process for rules adoption (owner comment period) (Section 322)
  • Annual Audit – required if annual assessments are $50k or more – if less, can be waived by majority of owners. (Section 327)  –  Different from Condo Act (if fewer than 50 units, can be waived by 60%) and HOA Act (waiver by 67% present at a meeting)
  • Management Company Transition:
    • Section 320(8): An association’s managing agent must deliver all of the association’s original books and records to the association immediately upon termination of its management relationship with the association, or upon such other demand as is made by the board. An association managing agent may keep copies of the association records at its own expense.
  • Developer Transition (Section 304 and 305)

June 2018 – Commonly Ignored Best Practices of Commercial Landscaping Maintenance

Commonly Ignored Best Practices of Commercial Landscaping Maintenance

Written by Tim Hawkins

www.wscai.org

Tip 1:

How you care for your plants makes all the difference in the lifespan and overall look of them. The difference between hard pruning versus using hedge shears is significant when not shearing the correct plants. The more you improperly prune your plants , the more often you will need to be outside pruning them. Keeping the significant pruning to hard pruning in the winter will make a difference in how time consuming your plants are throughout the rest of the year.

Tip 2:

Clearing low-hanging branches and overgrown plant material will open up the lines of sight into your property, decrease potential hazards and eliminate safety concerns of individuals hiding in your plants.

Tip 3:

With the weight of a commercial mower and mowing in the same direction each week, your turf is prone to having a matted look, unhealthy and unsightly grass. You can help fix that by alternating your mowing pattern each visit encouraging standing turf.

Tip 4.

Fertilizer can be a great resource for your turf and plants, but too much of it can harm your landscape. Commonly referred to as fertilizer burn, having too much can cause yellow, brown or dead sections. Additionally, the more you apply the fertilizer, the more dependent your turf and plants become on that particular fertilizer to look and stay healthy. Leaving your grass clippings is a great way to naturally fertilize your lawn. Organic fertilizers are also a great way to have a more balanced and sustainable landscape.

Tip 5.

Annuals are a great way to add seasonal color to your landscape, whether they are around entrances, signage, walkways, or plant beds giving a fresh and updated look to a potentially older property.

Tip 6.

Cleaning up the landscaping debris after you are done maintaining your property, instead of blowing it into the street or a native area will help you to be more responsible as a community association manager or owner and it will make your property and the surrounding areas more appealing and help to reduce pollution problems.

Tip 7.

Having a mulch bed around your trees helps protect the trees’ trunks from mechanical damage caused by mowers and trimmers and improves the overall appearance of the property. Mulching your beds throughout the property can help nourish your plants, increase curb appeal and reduce weed infestation.

Tip 8.

One mistake seen frequently is people using the wrong equipment for the task at hand. Whether it is hand pruners, string trimmers or mowers, be sure that you or your service provider is giving you the proper and best resources for maintaining your landscape.

Tip 9.

Misunderstanding the pitfalls caused by regular landscape maintenance can lead to long-term failure of your landscape.

Focusing on the “big picture” of your property and where you want to take the landscape can have a lasting impact on your budget, overall aesthetic and how much effort is required to keep the property looking good long term.