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Why SB6175 Matters in Washington

For all friends and other members of HOAs, strong foundations build strong HOAs. Therefore, for members of HOAs who do not understand their rights and obligations, the State of WA adopted amendments in 2018 in the form of SB6175 that replaced, clarified or added new provisions to RCW64.38 that governs HOAs in Washington for all new HOAs created as of July 1, 2018. The provisions of SB6175 can be adopted also by members of preexisting HOAs if they choose to do so.

In order to adopt SB6175, a preexisting HOA's Board must either volunteer to propose the adoption of SC6175 to their members, or if the Board objects to doing so, 20 percent of the HOA’s members can sign a petition that will require the Board to schedule a Special Meeting to discuss the provisions of SB6175 after which without knowing of asking how members will vote, the Board must mail ballots to members who will vote on it. I have not read every section of SB6175 and compared it to relevant counterparts in RCW if a counterpart exists. Therefore, focusing on two issues only, you may be able to understand why my gut feeling is that SB6175 provides members with more control over important decisions that create and maintain strong HOAs.

For anyone who reads this article and is a member of an HOA in the State of WA, Section 120 of SB6175 states that after the Special Meeting ends, the Board must mail ballots to the “participating” members so that these members can decide whether to adopt SB6715 by a vote of 67 percent. I placed the “ “ around the word, participating, for emphasis because Section 120 does not include “ “. Normally, I would assume that the Board would mail ballots to 100 percent of the members; but the Legislature may have wanted voters to actually be aware of what they are voting to adopt or reject. Therefore, assuming that the Legislature intended that only certain members, who attended the Special Meeting, would be allowed to vote on SB6175, then the Legislature is making a Statement that if members who do not do not want to vote in favor of SB6175, then they will have to attend the Special Meeting so that their negative votes will be counted.