Community Associations Countdown to Year-End!

Community Associations Countdown to Year-End!

[ Blog/News ]

The end of the year is approaching and before long we will be setting New Year’s resolutions for 2017. But before that new beginning, we need to wrap up 2016. For associations whose year-end is December 31st, there are financial and tax items that need to be addressed by the board and/or management. Let’s count down the top 10:

[10] IRS Revenue 70-604 Election

This is an annual tax election that must be made by the membership. This is a tax-only election which transfers excess operating fund income to the next year. For most associations, it seldom is actually used in the preparation of the tax return, but it is important to have as it may give the tax preparer options. Additionally, it may provide some protection in case of an IRS audit. Thus, we recommend that the election is made annually. Ask your tax preparer if you are unaware of this election.

Key Points:

  • Membership should make the election.
  • This carries over net membership income to the next year.
  • It does NOT transfer monies to reserves.
  • The determination whether or not to use the election is made at the time of preparation of the tax return.
  • Make the election annually, even though the ruling cannot be used on the tax return two years in a row.
  • The membership election may occur either before or after the subject year end. If after year end, it needs to be done before the extended due date of the tax return.

[9] Approve and Schedule Audit and/or Tax Return Preparation

Determine whether your association is going to have an audit. There are various RCW, governing document and good operating practice requirements. If so, approve the audit proposal and get scheduled with a CPA. The association must file a Federal tax return. This is a unique area of tax law, so make sure that the tax preparer is well-versed in association tax law.  NOTE: for 12/31/16 year-ends, the revised tax return due date is now April 15th – not March 15th.

Key Points:

  • A CPA/auditor is independent of the association.
  • To maintain independence, the CPA/auditor cannot prepare the books, or make accounting and management decisions.
  • An audit is not an internal control. The board is responsible for the internal control system.
  • The CPA/auditor strives to be sure that the financial statements are materially correct and in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles.
  • All associations must have a tax return prepared annually.

[8] Budget Ratification

The budget should be prepared by now. The end of the year (or, sooner) is the time to get the information to the membership.

Key Points:

  • Comply with RCW and association’s governing documents.
  • Use the budget as a tool to explain the current and future financial position of the association to the membership.
  • Ensure that management is making the proper changes to the assessment billings.

[7] Bad Debt Allowance and/or Write-Offs

Review outstanding amounts due from unit owners. Determine a reasonable Allowance for Bad Debts. This is an offset to Accounts Receivable on the Balance Sheet. For any accounts where it has been determined that collection time and cost exceeds the benefit, or for those accounts determined to be uncollectible, the board should document in the meeting minutes the approval to write- off.

Key Points:

  • Be conservative!
  • It is better to have a larger Bad Debt Allowance and not overstate assets.
  • If the monies are collected in a later year, bad debt recovery income is recorded.

[6] Year-end Payroll & Contract Labor

If there any year-end bonuses, be sure and document approval of such. Ensure that all required payroll and independent contractor reports are completed in a timely manner.

Key Points:

  • If there is any concern about whether a person is a vendor (contract labor), consider getting professional advice on the matter.
  • Reconcile year-end payroll reports with the general ledger.

[5] Review Internal Controls

Internal controls are the methods and policies that help ensure the integrity of the financial information.

Review the various internal control and authorization processes that are in place. Consider whether a change is needed anywhere.

Key Points:

  • Ensure that the board has control of all cash accounts.
  • Review check signing and/or withdrawal authorization process for operating and reserve accounts. Update authorized account signers if there have been changes.
  • Document who has authority to make payments, adjust the financial statements, reconcile accounts, write-off account balances, etc. Segregate this authority as reasonably possible.

[4] Due Between Funds

This may be on your monthly Balance Sheet and often represents the amount receivable or payable between the Operating Fund and the Replacement (Reserve) Fund. Occasionally, there are other funds involved, such as a Special Assessment. Understand what this amount represents and why it exists. If amounts are due between funds, these should be reviewed by the board for the proper year end accounting.

Key Points:

  • The board and management should review a reconciliation of the Due Between Funds
  • The board and management should determine whether amounts should be written off and/or repaid, according to RCW, GAAP, and board policy, as appropriate.
  • Board actions/approvals with respect to write off, repayment, or other accounting adjustments should always be documented in the board minutes.

[3] Verification of all Bank Account Balances

Ensure that there are bank statements, printout or other verification of balances for ALL cash accounts as of the end of the year. The board should be receiving and reviewing cash account balances at least quarterly; however, at the end of the year is vital. The auditor needs proof of existence of the cash and verification of the amount.

Key Points:

  • Record year-end interest income before closing out the books
  • Make all other adjustments, such as voiding old, outstanding checks.

[2] Final Review of the Year-End Financial Statements

The board should review the final year-end financial statement and ensure that it appears to be materially complete and accurate. While the board can hire a management company or an onsite manager to assist with the accounting, the board still has a responsibility to understand the financial matters of the association.

Key Points:

  • Each material Balance Sheet account should be backed up with a report and/or other documentation.
  • Variation of income and expense from budget should be discussed and documented.

[1] Close Out the Year

Once the determination has been made that the financial statements are completed for the year, the year-end is considered to be “closed”. While many computerized accounting systems no longer close a prior year and it is possible for adjustments to be made to a previous period, this is not a good practice.

Key Points:

  • Once the year-end financial statement is issued to the board, the prior period should not be adjusted.
  • Once the year-end financial statement has been issued to the auditor, the prior period should not be adjusted.

Close out the old year and start the new! Time flies; the “Class of 2020” has now entered high school! Don’t delay, and make this an important annual procedure for your board and management.

By Gayle Cagianut, CPA

Owner, Cagianut & Company

Gayle Cagianut, CPA is the owner of Cagianut & Company, CPA and has worked in the HOA/Condominium industry for over 30 years.

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Chapter Magazine

Community Associations Journal - April 2019 Issue - Cover

Calendar

April 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Communications Comm Mtg
4
  • M-100
  • Market Expansion Comm Conf Call
5
  • M-100
6
  • M-100
  • Board Leadership Development Workshop
7
8
9
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
10
  • Board / Comm Chair Meeting
11
  • CASE Study
12
  • CASE Study
13
14
15
16
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
  • M4MD Comm Mtg
  • Law Day Comm Mtg - Panel Practice
17
  • Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Event
18
  • CEO Luncheon
19
20
21
22
23
  • Social Committee Mtg
24
25
  • Earth Day Project @ Rainier Vista East, Seattle
26
27
  • Law Day for Condo & HOA Board Members
28
29
30
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
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I’ll see you out of court! Alternative options for resolving legal disputes

I’ll see you out of court! Alternative options for resolving legal disputes

[ Blog/News ]
Alternative dispute resolution or “ADR” was developed over the last twenty years in an attempt to resolve disputes quicker and cheaper than traditional litigation. ADR has two distinct forms: mediation and arbitration.

Mediation

While some courts require mediation before trial, it is generally undertaken voluntarily. Mediation is always non-binding, meaning the mediator has no power to decide the case. The mediator’s sole role is to try and negotiate a settlement that both parties can live with, though neither party may be particularly happy about.

Mediators engage in “shuttle diplomacy” between parties, who remain in separate rooms, attempting to broker settlements by discussing the relative strengths and weaknesses of each parties’ case along with the inherent risks and costs of litigation. When mediating, the association (and its attorney) should be prepared to discuss the facts underlying the dispute and articulate why those facts and the related law support its position. Formal presentations are not made, rather, the mediation will be an informal conversation about the case. It is helpful to provide the mediator and opposing party a short 3 to 5 page letter explaining the association’s position prior to the mediation.

Mediators do not take sides in a dispute, rather they will push both sides to try and convince them to move closer to a settlement. This generally involves the mediator discussing why you may lose if you proceed to trial; however, he/she is telling the opposing party the same thing. Mediation often proves successful because it provides a venue where parties feel like they have been “heard”, as well as provides them with an independent analysis of the risks and costs they face in continued litigation.

Associations should consider mediation, in consultation with legal counsel, as a way of avoiding the direct costs (time and money) and secondary impacts (stress, lost productivity, etc.) inherent in litigation.

Arbitration

Unlike mediation, arbitration is generally a binding (i.e. not subject to appeal) dispute resolution process. In an effort to reduce the number of cases, many Washington courts require small monetary disputes ($50,000 or less) to be arbitrated. If not required by a local court, arbitration can be required by the terms of a written contract. Associations will most commonly encounter arbitration clauses in contracts with construction companies and other similar service providers.

While less formal than a trial, arbitration closely resembles one. A panel of between one and three licensed attorneys serves as the arbitrator(s) and presides over the arbitration. Each party presents evidence, questions witnesses, and makes argument to the arbitrator(s), who then make a ruling. If the arbitration was required by a contractual term the panel’s decision is, in most cases, final and binding on the parties, (meaning it is not subject to an appeal). If the arbitration is mandated by a court, the parties can appeal the arbitrator’s decision to the courts.

While originally designed to be a quicker and cheaper alternative to the court system, in practice, arbitrations (especially of more complex matters) tend to take a similar amount of time as a trial and can be more expensive. The primary drawback to arbitration is that the losing party has to pay the cost for the arbitration panel’s fees, which typically range from $300 to $500 per hour, per arbitrator. This fee adds up quickly, especially if you have a long mediation with a panel of arbitrators. Arbitration can, however, be a cost effective and quicker alternative to litigation on smaller and less complex disputes.

As discussed, associations commonly encounter mandatory arbitration clauses in construction contracts. Coincidentally, construction defect cases are often some of the most time intensive cases to litigate, resulting in significant additional costs to arbitrate a case as a result of the arbitrators’ fees. If possible, associations should negotiate a clause into their contracts which allows the association to elect whether to resolve disputes through binding arbitration or litigation. This provides the association with the ability to make a decision, with legal counsel, which process will be more advantageous once the facts of the dispute arise.

Which Should An Association Choose?

As a general rule, associations should: i) seek to mediate disputes as early as practicable, and ii) retain a contractual option to choose between binding arbitration and litigation.

By Seth Woolson

Principal, Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S.

Seth A. Woolson is a principal at Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S. whose practice concentrates on community association representation, construction law and general civil litigation.

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Chapter Magazine

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Calendar

April 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Communications Comm Mtg
4
  • M-100
  • Market Expansion Comm Conf Call
5
  • M-100
6
  • M-100
  • Board Leadership Development Workshop
7
8
9
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
10
  • Board / Comm Chair Meeting
11
  • CASE Study
12
  • CASE Study
13
14
15
16
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
  • M4MD Comm Mtg
  • Law Day Comm Mtg - Panel Practice
17
  • Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Event
18
  • CEO Luncheon
19
20
21
22
23
  • Social Committee Mtg
24
25
  • Earth Day Project @ Rainier Vista East, Seattle
26
27
  • Law Day for Condo & HOA Board Members
28
29
30
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
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WSCAI’s Earth Day Project

[ Blog/News ]
Each year, in honor of Earth Day, WSCAI’s Community Outreach Committee solicits nominations from member communities that are in need of assistance with landscape and general spring cleanup. From those nominations the Committee reviews and selects a deserving community. A big Congratulations goes out to Silver Glen Cooperative for being the 2016 recipient. This year, the Community Outreach Committee recruited volunteers to assist at the work party scheduled on Wednesday, April 20. Continental breakfast and lunch were provided to all volunteers. If you are interested in participating in future Earth Day Projects or making a donation, you are encouraged to fill out the Earth Day Call for Volunteers Form.

A Special Thanks To All That Volunteered

Earth Day projects are backbreaking, yet fun and collaborative events. Silver Glen’s project brought just shy of 60 volunteers, plus an additional dozen owner volunteers who were very supportive delivering water, serving a delicious lunch and providing direction when necessary.  We thank all of our volunteers for coming out to support our efforts as it was a grueling day.

We would like to extend a special thanks to those WSCAI Business Partners and their extended networks who graciously donated 100% of the cost, equipment and materials necessary for our project. These are: Ruff Construction, SSI, Northwest Landscape Services, Whirlwind Clean & Green, Fischer Plumbing & Restoration, ServPro of Edmonds, Lynwood and Bellevue West, Jergens Painting, Sunbelt Rentals, McBride Construction, Eastside LandCare, Home Depot and Safe Sidewalks. SSI and Ruff Construction’s donations went above and beyond with their volunteerism by donating several days and countless hours of additional support.

We hope that you are inspired to volunteer for next year’s Earth Day event!

Work Party Details:
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Silver Glen Cooperative
1750 152nd Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98007

Earth Day Work Project Contact:
Shane Lewis: shane@cwdgroup.com


WSCAI’s Earth Day Project History:
2015: New Holly HOA, Seattle
2014: Rolling Hills Condominium, Renton
2013: Lea Hill HOA, Auburn
2012: Ambaum Square Condominium, Burien
2011: The Verano at Redmond HOA

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Chapter Magazine

Community Associations Journal - April 2019 Issue - Cover

Calendar

April 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Communications Comm Mtg
4
  • M-100
  • Market Expansion Comm Conf Call
5
  • M-100
6
  • M-100
  • Board Leadership Development Workshop
7
8
9
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
10
  • Board / Comm Chair Meeting
11
  • CASE Study
12
  • CASE Study
13
14
15
16
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
  • M4MD Comm Mtg
  • Law Day Comm Mtg - Panel Practice
17
  • Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Event
18
  • CEO Luncheon
19
20
21
22
23
  • Social Committee Mtg
24
25
  • Earth Day Project @ Rainier Vista East, Seattle
26
27
  • Law Day for Condo & HOA Board Members
28
29
30
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
Advertise With Us - Click to find out how! WSCAI

“Getting away” in an HOA:  What can associations do about vacation rentals?

“Getting away” in an HOA: What can associations do about vacation rentals?

[ Blog/News ]
Vacation rentals are incredibly popular today. They provide extra income to homeowner “hosts” and inexpensive accommodations to vacationing “guests,” but can impose unwanted burdens on community associations.  What can associations do to address these burdens?

First, let’s understand the phenomenon. Companies like Airbnb (privately owned and valued at $24 billion), Homeaway (recently acquired by Expedia for $3.9 billion), VRBO, Housetrip, and Roomorama each provide an online service that connects hosts and paying guests for short-term vacation rentals. Another site, www.couchsurfing.com, offers something more like a dating service. A user creates a profile, including a photo, and sends a “couchrequest” to stay with another user whose profile looks interesting. If the recipient agrees, short-term accommodations are provided without charge. Vacation rentals may include an entire home or condo unit, or sometimes just a room (or couch).

Vacation Rentals and Community Associations

From the perspective of the homeowner hosts, these types of online rental services offer a convenient, low-cost way to earn additional income. In their view, it’s almost the same thing as having family or friends visiting, except that money usually changes hands. From the perspective of the community association, however, these arrangements look quite different. They put extra burdens on vehicle traffic, parking, trash, pet impacts, noise, common amenities, property management, and public services (police, fire, emergency medical response), and the visitors are strangers with no ties to the community. They don’t coach kids’ teams, volunteer at the library, or help neighbors; they use and leave, potentially damaging the residential character of the community.

Aren’t Vacation Rentals Prohibited in Condominiums?

Homeowners in community associations often believe that vacation rentals are forbidden by their CC&Rs. After all, the CC&Rs typically prohibit “short-term rentals and leases” and restrict the property to “single-family residential use” and do not permit “commercial use”? And if that’s what the CC&Rs say, isn’t an Airbnb rental a prohibited short-term commercial use?  In the eyes of the law, probably not.

First, these arrangements are typically not rentals or leases. A lease or rental involves conveyance of a real property interest and the exclusive right to possession. These arrangements are mere licenses to use someone’s home (or a portion of it) for a short time, without the exclusive right to possession. In this respect, they are quite similar to a hotel or motel booking. A careful analysis of the CC&Rs for each association is always necessary, however, because some CC&Rs define the terms “rental” and “lease” broadly to include granting the right to “use” a unit in exchange for the payment of money. In such cases, the CC&Rs may, in fact, prohibit short-term vacation rentals.

Second, in Wilkinson v. Chiwawa Communities Association, the Washington Supreme Court held in 2014 that an owner’s receipt of money from a vacationing guest for the use of the owner’s unit does not change the use from residential to commercial, at least where the owner does not provide “on-site services.” Unfortunately, the court did not specify the nature or extent of on-site services that would convert the use from residential to commercial, but it did say that sleeping and eating are residential uses. Would the provision of maid service or meals by the host convert the use to commercial? Would “concierge” services such as giving tourist advice and making restaurant reservations qualify? These services resemble what is provided by hotels, but it is not clear if they would constitute commercial use. Hopefully, future court decisions will provide more guidance on what distinguishes commercial use from residential use.

The court in Wilkinson also held that a restriction for “single-family use” does not mean that people unrelated to each other cannot reside on the property. Rather, “single-family” refers to the type of structure permitted on the property, not who may reside there.

If an association’s CC&Rs do not prohibit short-term rentals, a possible strategy is to determine if the local zoning code prohibits them. Regardless of the uses that are permitted under a given set of CC&Rs, most CC&Rs require compliance with state and local laws, including local zoning codes.  For example, CC&Rs often provide that “owners shall not permit anything to be done in the units that would be in violation of any applicable laws or regulations.” If “hotel” use is not permitted in the zone where the association is located, and the zoning code defines “hotel” to include any place maintained for the purpose of furnishing lodging to transient guests, the association may be within its rights to prohibit short-term vacation rentals on that basis, through enforcement of the CC&Rs. Enforcement of the CC&Rs is properly viewed as something different than enforcing the zoning code itself, which is a municipal function.

Can an Association Change its CC&Rs to Prohibit Vacation Rentals?

An association can amend its CC&Rs to prohibit short-term vacation use, but such restrictions typically require supermajority approval. For example, under the Condominium Act, an amendment that changes the uses to which a unit is restricted requires 90 percent total voting power approval, plus the approval of each affected unit, pursuant to  RCW 64.34.264(4) and Filmore LLLP v. Centre Pointe Condo (2015). In homeowners’ associations and “Old Act” condos (those created prior to July 1, 1990), the CC&Rs will specify the percentage of approval required to amend. It is not going to be a viable strategy to amend the CC&Rs to restrict vacation rentals if the approval of owners who are already using their units in that manner is required.

Short of amending the CC&Rs to prohibit short-term rentals, what can associations do to mitigate their impacts? In many cases, depending on the governing documents, associations can adopt rules that regulate how vacation rentals are conducted and impose fees to cover the extra burdens such rentals impose on the community, so long as they do not effectively prohibit the use. For example, an association may adopt rules requiring homeowner hosts to register each vacation renter, certify that the occupancy limits imposed by local law are not being exceeded, pay a per-user or annual fee to defray the additional cost burdens created by short-term renters, and maintain property and liability insurance naming the association as an additional insured for any claims arising out of the rental activity. Reasonable fines could be imposed for violation of these rules.

Other Remedies

Another potential remedy may be found in the political process. Some cities are adopting ordinances prohibiting short-term vacation rentals. Seal Beach, California’s ordinance states: “No residentially zoned property, or any portion thereof, shall be leased or rented for a term of 29 days or less for any purpose, including but not limited to any residential or commercial purpose such as vacation rentals, weddings, or other event rentals.” Other cities such as Los Angeles see vacation rentals as a source of additional revenue and are collecting taxes. Others, such as Palm Desert, are requiring hosts to obtain city-issued permits and imposing large fines ($5,000, for example) and suspensions for violations of the permit conditions, which include the host being available 24/7 to respond to any complaints concerning his/her guests. Airbnb recently spent $8 million successfully opposing San Francisco’s Proposition F, which would have limited all private rentals to 75 nights per year and required payment of hotel taxes. If a city does adopt a zoning ordinance prohibiting short-term rentals, rentals then in existence would ordinarily be permitted to continue as nonconforming uses, provided all requirements for doing so are met and the nonconforming use is not discontinued or abandoned.

Airbnb: Movement or Monstrosity?

The popularity of online vacation rentals driven by sites like www.airbnb.com and www.homeaway.com — termed a “movement” by some — is creating serious challenges for community associations. For many associations, it is too late to garner the high percentage of votes needed to amend the governing documents to prohibit such use. In those cases, enforcing CC&R provisions requiring compliance with zoning laws and adopting reasonable rules to mitigate the impacts caused by vacationing guests may be the best available options, absent adoption of municipal laws banning short-term rentals entirely.

The market for low-cost vacation rentals is rapidly increasing on both the supply and demand side and putting pressure on community associations, municipalities and the courts to come up with solutions to address the impacts. Individuals buying into communities will be increasingly sensitive to whether and how vacation rentals are addressed in the association’s governing documents. Communities that have the ability to get “in front” of the issue should act promptly before the window of opportunity closes.

By Tony Rafel, Esq.

Managing Partner, Rafel Law Group PLLC

Tony Rafel is the Managing Partner of Rafel Law Group PLLC, a law firm that represents community associations in the State of Washington.

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Chapter Magazine

Community Associations Journal - April 2019 Issue - Cover

Calendar

April 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Communications Comm Mtg
4
  • M-100
  • Market Expansion Comm Conf Call
5
  • M-100
6
  • M-100
  • Board Leadership Development Workshop
7
8
9
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
10
  • Board / Comm Chair Meeting
11
  • CASE Study
12
  • CASE Study
13
14
15
16
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
  • M4MD Comm Mtg
  • Law Day Comm Mtg - Panel Practice
17
  • Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Event
18
  • CEO Luncheon
19
20
21
22
23
  • Social Committee Mtg
24
25
  • Earth Day Project @ Rainier Vista East, Seattle
26
27
  • Law Day for Condo & HOA Board Members
28
29
30
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
Advertise With Us - Click to find out how! WSCAI

UCIOA Update

[ Blog/News ]

SB 5263 Update – 2.24.15

The WSCAI LAC actively participated in the political process surrounding Senate Bill 5263, the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act. A public hearing was conducted in Olympia February 4th with testimony provided by the UCIOA drafting group, representatives of the building and banking industries, homeowners and the LAC co-chairs.

The process revealed great passion on a number of issues with clear identification of those surrounding warranties and lien priority as flash points. After vigorous debate and two amendments to the bill, it did not make it out of the committee hearing phase this session. The bill will carry over to the 2016 legislative session.

The prime sponsoring senator Jamie Pedersen, has pledged to work with stakeholder groups in 2015 to seek an acceptable balance of interests toward this bill becoming law.

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CAI’s Call-To-Action: Oppose Federal HAM Radio Standards for Community Associations

[ Blog/News ]
In 2014, legislation requiring community associations to “reasonably accommodate” installation of HAM radio towers and antennas was cosponsored by 64 U.S. Representatives. While this legislation died at the end of the 113th Congress, the HAM radio lobby is back, aggressively pushing its pre-emption agenda in 2015.

Community Associations Institute asks that you please contact your legislator today, and voice your opposition to Federal HAM Radio Standards for Community Associations, to protect your client communities’ interest. Contact information can be found here: www.caionline.org/govt/advocacy/Pages/AdvocacyCenter.aspx

More background from CAI

The HAM radio lobby claims their legislation only requires that community associations “reasonably accommodate” their hobby.

This disguises the facts.

The Federal Communications Commission has historically interpreted “reasonable accommodation” to mean virtually no restrictions and no prior approval requirements. If a HAM radio “reasonable accommodation” standard becomes federal law, community associations will likely have little to no say on the installation of towers and large, fixed antennas used in HAM radio broadcasting.

The fact is many associations already accommodate HAM radio hobbyists. In a 2014 survey covering communities in 46 states, 64 percent of respondents confirmed their association’s board or architectural review committee had never denied a request to install a HAM radio antenna. An additional 27 percent could find no record of a denial. The survey also found that associations routinely provide space for HAM radio clubs so residents can pursue their radio hobby.

Federal pre-emption of community association architectural standards is a heavy-handed and unnecessary intrusion in community associations. Contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and tell them to oppose all legislation prohibiting association review or approval of HAM radio towers and large, fixed antennas.

How does the FCC view “reasonable”? See the following “reasonableness” guidance the Commission provides on installation of satellite dishes.(www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-reception-devices-rule)

Q&A

Q: What types of restrictions unreasonably delay or prevent viewers from using an antenna? Can an antenna user be required to obtain prior approval before installing his antenna?

A: A local restriction that prohibits all antennas would prevent viewers from receiving signals, and is prohibited by the Commission’s rule. Procedural requirements can also unreasonably delay installation, maintenance or use of an antenna covered by this rule. For example, local rules or regulations that require a person to obtain a permit or approval prior to installation create unreasonable delay and are generally prohibited. Permits or prior approval necessary to serve a legitimate written safety or historic preservation purpose may be permissible. Although a simple notification process (e.g. post installation) might be permissible, such a process cannot be used as a prior approval requirement and may not delay or increase the cost of installation. The burden is on the association to show that a notification process does not violate our rule.

Q: What is an unreasonable expense?

A: Any requirement to pay a fee to the local authority for a permit to be allowed to install an antenna would be unreasonable because such permits are generally prohibited. It may also be unreasonable for a local government, community association or landlord to require a viewer to incur additional costs associated with installation. Things to consider in determining the reasonableness of any costs imposed include: (1) the cost of the equipment and services, and (2) whether there are similar requirements for comparable objects, such as air conditioning units or trash receptacles. For example, restrictions cannot require that expensive landscaping screen relatively unobtrusive DBS antennas. A requirement to paint an antenna so that it blends into the background against which it is mounted might be acceptable, provided it will not interfere with reception or impose unreasonable costs.

[From: www.caionline.org/govt/advocacy/Pages/AdvocacyCenter.aspx, 2/2/2015]

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Chapter Magazine

Community Associations Journal - April 2019 Issue - Cover

Calendar

April 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Communications Comm Mtg
4
  • M-100
  • Market Expansion Comm Conf Call
5
  • M-100
6
  • M-100
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7
8
9
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
10
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11
  • CASE Study
12
  • CASE Study
13
14
15
16
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  • Law Day Comm Mtg - Panel Practice
17
  • Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Event
18
  • CEO Luncheon
19
20
21
22
23
  • Social Committee Mtg
24
25
  • Earth Day Project @ Rainier Vista East, Seattle
26
27
  • Law Day for Condo & HOA Board Members
28
29
30
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
Advertise With Us - Click to find out how! WSCAI