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WA Senate Bill 6175 as of January 2018 - Adds New Protections for HOA Members

AS of January 18, 2018, the State of Washington's Senate Bill 6175 was heard by the Senate Committee on Finance; and if the full Senate votes to approve it, the Bill will be forwarded to a similar House Committee to consider. This Bill is a major effort to clarify and add new provisions to RCW 64.38 that governs how homeowners' associations (HOAs) and condominium associations must be managed. This version of Senate Bill 6175 is 134 pages long and has over 300 sections that deal with different concerns. I have not covered all of it, but, a few things caught my attention because self-managed HOAs can misinterpret the governing documents after which it can be difficult or untimely for the members to object. Highlighting a few issues that may seem minor; but without adding them to current law in Washington, they can provide Boards of Directors of self-managed Associations enormous unintended powers over the Association's members.

For example, Section 102 (Definitions) defines "Association" as the members of the HOA. Anyone should know this is what the Association means because Association does not refer to an Association of Board Members. But, occasionally a Board will assume that the Board can vote on behalf of the Association by a majority vote of the Board. A vote by the Board, instead of the by the Association's members, is the worst possible situation when it deals with amending governing