Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog - Association General Counsel

Don't Avoid Issues, Investigate Them and Consider Options

People often focus on the negative ramifications associated with litigation. It can be costly, time consuming and often not the most efficient method of resolving disputes. Associations will sometime actively avoid dealing with an issue because it might result in litigation and often fail to consider the ramifications of not pursuing, or at least considering, litigation. For example, associations will sometimes avoid investigating the extent of a problem because they fear what they might find. An association may become aware of water intrusion and avoid investigating the extent of their problem, fearing it might lead to extensive repairs, insurance claims and perhaps litigation. Avoiding the issue will never make it go away. Associations do not avoid issues by ignoring them. The issues and resulting damage compound while the options for relief become more limited. Eventually, a potential insurance claim or litigation is barred by applicable statutes of limitation and repose. Increased damages and no ability to pursue relief is not a good combination. read more

Washington Legislative Update

Washington's most recent legislative session has resulted in several bills that will impact associations. Some have already been signed into law while others have passed both the House and the Senate and are on the Governor's desk awaiting signature. Below are links to some of the bills that will impact associations in Washington. read more

Volatile Elections - The Aftermath

I don't know if you remember this, but there was an election recently that was rather volatile. With volatility comes uncertainty and unease and we are left to wonder where we should look for certainty and guidance. At the national level we must look to our country's foundational documents and laws including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws and the multitude of checks and balances inherent in the structure of our democracy. Those fundamental concepts or "governing documents," to use a term of art, form the core of our democracy. They provide our country with stability and allow our country to transfer power relatively peacefully, no matter how contested the election. read more

The Washington HOA Political Yard Sign Minefield

Election season has returned. Although, when is it not election season? This year's presidential campaign promises to be one of the most contentious in living memory, and there are a number of state and local candidates and ballot measures that promise to be very divisive as well. Moreover, there are political issues that are critically important to our friends and neighbors, even if those issues are not directly on the ballot. Many owners will want to display signs in support of candidates, campaigns, or issues on their Lots, Units, or in their Limited Common Elements. read more

Condemnation (But Not In The Biblical Sense)

When the government needs land to widen a highway, install a power line, extend light rail or build a runway, it just takes it from the surrounding landowners. Is this fair, or legal? I don't know about fair, but it is legal. read more

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