Author Archives: Ken Harer

Are Co-ops Subject to Landlord Tenant Law?

Our firm takes the position that the corporations that own cooperative housing developments are subject to Landlord Tenant Law.[1]  As a result, we believe that individuals managing cooperative housing developments should take the time to become familiar and comply with the duties imposed on landlords.  This position is based on both statute and case law….

What Laws Govern Cooperative Housing Developments?

There are multiple entities that can form a cooperative housing development, and thus the laws governing a particular cooperative housing development depend on the cooperative’s specific structure.  Under Washington law, a corporation or association may only use the term “cooperative” as part of a corporate or business name if it meets certain requirements.[1]  Three of…

Allocating Risk When Hiring Professionals

We frequently review contracts between associations and licensed professionals, like Architects and Engineers. One common provision that many of these professionals are inserting to their contracts is to limit any liability they have for performing their services. We have several comments that we believe our clients should be aware of. 1)      “Companies” are not licensed…

Reserves for Mixed Use Building & Limited Common Elements

Often condo declarations state that some building components are to be paid for exclusively by one group of owners. This may include all residential owners, or all owners within a single building. This means that reserve contributions for those components must come only from the units to which the cost is allocated. We frequently see reserve…

Reserve Contributions

What is a “fully funded reserve contribution”? Most condo boards, managers, and reserve study professionals do not understand that the “fully funded balance” is not directly related to the “contribution rate”, and that the “contribution rate” calculation required by the Washington condominium act has nothing to do with being fully funded. Just as a company’s balance…

Building Envelope Inspections Gone Bad

In the past month I have been handed 5 different “engineering inspection reports” by construction consultants who have found problems or defects with construction on condominium buildings.  Every one has failed to evaluate the building in terms of any damage resulting from the as-built construction, and have left the condo association with a report saying…

Your Condo Declaration is Not a Contract Between You and the Developer

Many buyers of condominiums do not understand that the Condo Association and the Developer are not the same (even though they seem to be early on in the life of the Condo Association).   The purchase and sale agreement that the buyer and seller have is not a contractual relationship between the Association and the buyer,…

Update on Carbon Monoxide Sensors

Since my posting last October regarding Carbon Monoxide sensors, the code revisor’s offices and the state have been busy making changes.  There is a lot of confusion regarding the imposition of the new requirement, and different players putting their hands on the regulations.  Originally it seems the legislation adopted a requirement, separate from the building…

Robert’s Rules of Order

The purpose of using Robert’s Rules of Order or some other rules of parliamentary procedure is to allow a group to make decisions, allow all members of the group an opportunity to speak, and to do so in an orderly and controlled fashion. If your group, regardless of size, has a process for meeting, talking, and…

Rent Interception

Can condo associations intercept rent from a tenant living in an owner’s unit? This week we assisted a tenant living in a unit that is going through a bank foreclosure.  The condo association has demanded that the rent be paid to the association, not the landlord.  The association is threatening to sue if they don’t…