A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is a corporate entity governed by the document known as the Articles of Incorporation, By-laws and Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, known as CC and R’s. Many times a developer of land will use a HOA, with the developer having primary control over the development until a percentage of the property is sold to buyers, who then take control of the association. Condominiums, planned unit developments (PUDs) and transitions from apartments to condos may have a HOA. These are all governed by statute in the state of Washington. The HOA has a board of directors who oversee the association, implement the by-laws and enforce the CC and R’s. The property owners are the members of the association who have voting rights and pay dues to pay for such things as common areas, snow removal, garbage, or water and general maintenance for a common area. Some CC and R’s can be viewed as draconian because they limit what the owners can and cannot do with the property. For example, some CC and R’s regulate the color of the property (no purple houses), the type of window dressing or the number of pets (if any) allowed.
Disputes can arise when property owners disagree with a board action, changes to the CC and R’s, changes to the board itself, or levying of special assessments. Sometimes disagreements arise when tenants are allowed in the condo or home. Or a problem may arise if the heir to the property owner disagrees with the other members or board.