Washington Proclamation 20-51: Some of this May Help
On April 17, 2020, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee implemented Proclamation 20-51 relating to “Community Association Meetings and Late Fees” but the Proclamation covers fines, too. Proclamation 20-51:
- Allows communities formed as nonprofit corporations under RCW Chapter 24.03 to have remote meetings even if not authorized by the governing documents;
- Allows such communities to provide mail or electronic voting even if not specifically authorized by the association’s governing documents
- Prohibits all communities from assessing late fees and interest on delinquent assessments; and
- Prohibits HOAs and Condominiums from levying fines for violations of the association’s governing documents.
The Governor specifically found that “strict compliance” with certain statutes and community governing document provisions from April 17 to May 17 would be contrary to the state’s goals and emphasized that the Proclamations have the effect of “prohibiting certain activities and waiving and suspending specified laws and regulations.” Relevant to our communities, Proclamation 20-51 specifically amends the Nonprofit Corporation Act, the Condominium Act, HOA Act, and WUCIOA, although there are some changes to WUCIOA that may be different, so please contact your attorney to learn the nuances of the Proclamation if you are a WUCIOA community.
The Proclamation is clear that no interest, late fees or fines should be imposed during the one-month period (or longer if the Proclamation is extended), but is less clear about whether violations occurring during that period can result in fines levied after that period. Contact your attorney regarding whether courtesy or warning letters may be sent during this period. The full text of Proclamation 20-51 can be found here.
Co-Authored by Alexis Ducich.