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The importance of obtaining legal counsel for Home Owners Associations in Washington State

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Firm News

Washington State allows Home Owners Associations substantial independence in the performance of their duties. The State does not require that board members be trained or receive any specific education on HOA management. Associations may craft CC&Rs, declarations, and other governing documents without oversight of any outside parties. Additionally, enforcement of those documents is the responsibility of the Association.

Considering the flexibility the State allows HOAs, community residents who choose to serve on the Board for their Association should also be aware of the duty of care that the law requires of them.

If the HOA or its board members do not fulfill their duty to exercise reasonable care, both the HOA and the individual members may be held liable for negligence or breach of fiduciary duty.

In light of the substantial liability that both the HOA and its members face in the event that they do not fulfill their obligations to act with reasonable care, it is important to ensure that actions by the Board meet the requirements established by the governing documents of the Association as well as any legal requirements.

HOAs can be impacted by a complex set of Federal, State, and Municipal laws and regulations. It is recommended that HOAs work with counsel to ensure that actions taken by the Board do not fall outside the legal requirements and give rise to a potential claim which could impact both the association and its individual members.