By: Greg Coxey
On April 17, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-51. Proclamation 20-51 has far reaching impacts on all community associations in Washington. Proclamation 20-51 effectively amends the Nonprofit Corporations Act (RCW 24.03), the Condominium Act (RCW 64.34), the Homeowners’ Association Act (RCW 64.38), and the Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act or WUCIOA (RCW 64.90) until May 17th.
The Proclamation 20-51 makes it clear that community associations can conduct business through teleconference or video conference both for board meetings and owner meetings irrespective of any prohibition in the association’s governing documents. Additionally, it allows for voting by mail or electronically even if there is not specific authority in the association’s governing documents. The Proclamation 20-51 also prohibits all community associations from assessing late fees, interest, and fines from April 17 to May 17.
It is important to note that Proclamation 20-51 potentially prohibits community associations from even collecting regular assessments under WUCIOA, so if your community association was created after July 1, 2018 or opted into WUCIOA, before attempting to collect assessments, you will want to work with your attorney.
Based on Proclamation 20-51, VF recommends that from an accounting standpoint, it may be easier to waive late fees and interest for April and May, but that is a decision the board will have to make. Since I am currently one of the co-chairs of the Washington State Community Association Institute Legislative Action Committee, I have been involved in discussions to have Governor Inslee refine Proclamation 20-51.
If you have specific questions regard the effects of 20-51, please feel free to contact VF to discuss. We will continue to keep you updated as we get more information. You can read the full text of 50-21 here.