WSCAI Law Day Header

Community Association Law Day



Saturday, April 7, 2018
8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Tacoma Convention Center
1500 Commerce St,
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 830-6601


Member Registration
(per person)
$69 thru 3/24
$79 thru 3/31
$89 after 3/31

Non-Member Registration
(per person)
$99 thru 3/24
$109 thru 3/31
$119 after 3/31

Benefiting WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee

Law Day South for Condos and HOAs

WSCAI Law Day South – Tacoma, WA

This is a single-day event held at the Tacoma Convention Center. There will be several legal sessions taught by experienced attorneys who understand the laws that affect Condominiums and HOAs in Washington State. All registrants will be provided continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. The event includes 24 industry-related exhibitors.  Net proceeds benefit WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee (LAC).

Columbia Bank - Program Sponsor

Columbia Bank Program Sponsor

Schedule For Law Day South:

[8 a.m.]   Registration / Exhibits / Continental Breakfast

Continental Breakfast Sponsored by: Allana, Buick & Bers, Inc.Precision Concrete Cutting, and Yalnes, Inc.

[8:45 – 10 a.m.]   Concurrent Sessions (select one)

Legal Topics – Basic Training for Board Members and Managers

Presented by attorney David Silver

New board members may not appreciate that they control a Washington corporation responsible for management and maintenance of accounts and assets that can be valued at millions of dollars. Competent stewardship of the association requires knowledge of the board’s and association’s legal duties, obligations and rights.

This session will discuss basic legal topics involving condominium and homeowner associations, including the laws that govern condos and HOAs, governing documents, corporate governance, meetings, and common pitfalls and how to avoid them. The program will also include time for Q&A so that attendees can interact and ask questions.

  • Description of condominiums and HOAs from legal perspective
  • Laws that govern condominiums and HOAs
  • Governing documents
  • Board roles and responsibilities
  • Governance basics
  • Common trouble areas

Fair Housing Issues - Keeping your association out of hot water with the Washington Human Rights Commission

Presented by attorney Ken Harer, CCAL & manager Richard Perry

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability. The Human Rights Commission investigates claims for the federal government. State and local laws create more protected groups, for example sexual orientation. It is important for directors and managers to have a basic understanding of how these laws apply to condominium and homeowner associations, and what they should do if they receive a request or claim under these laws. We will discuss what “reasonable accommodation” might mean for your community, how the rights of others may be impacted by accommodation, and how to document compliance by a board. We will cover what you can ask, and what you cannot, and how to deal with suspected abuse of laws with good intentions.

  • The law’s intent:
    • To prohibit discrimination against families, and persons in protected classes
    • To provide disabled people the same use and enjoyment of their homes as any other residents.
  • How is the law enforced: Human Rights Commission; City and State agencies
    • ADA does not apply to most associations, FHA does
    • Service Animals under the ADA, vs Emotional Support Animals under FHA
  • What types of actions are prohibited?
    • Restrictions targeting children (families)
      • Adult swim hours for a pool
      • Prohibiting children from playing in parking lots
    • Screening of purchasers in protected classes
  • What kinds of special privileges must an association provide?
    • How are accommodations and modifications different?
    • Applying standards of reasonableness
    • What if the accommodation affects other owners?
    • Examples of common requests
      • Emotional support animals (including chickens)
      • Hardwood floors
      • Parking
      • Age exceptions for 55 and older communities
    • What proof can you ask for, and when?
      • Proof of disability
      • Proof that the accommodation requested relates to the disability
    • What if “we know” the applicant is lying about a disability?
    • What if “we know” that the dog is just a pet?
    • Can we require modifications be removed when the owner leaves?
  • Why process matters so much
    • Tendency of government to favor applicants over HOAs
    • Documentation necessary to establish reasonableness of HOA decision
    • If it wasn’t written down, it never happened
    • Explaining to other owners why someone got special privileges
  • Miscellaneous related issues:
    • Can you charge an application fee for an accommodation request?
    • Obligation of boards to attend special training as part of every settlement

[10 – 10:30 a.m.]   Exhibit Hall / Networking Break

[10:30 – 11:45 a.m.]   Concurrent Sessions (select one)

Serve and Protect: Drafting and Enforcing Rules of Your Association

Presented by attorney Ken Strauss

Of all of the types of governing documents, Rules and Regulations are the most flexible and allow associations to customize their policies to fit the characteristics and needs of their individual communities. This seminar will help manager and Board members understand the statutory authority and requirements for adopting enforceable rules, how to determine what is “reasonable,” which policies should always be included in rules, and strategies for rulemaking to address common issues in community associations. Attendees will also learn about alternative enforcement methods when rules may not be applicable to a unique situation. Topics will include tenant enforcement, parking, architectural controls, smoking, collections policies and fine schedules.

  • Rules and Regulations
    • Enforceability
    • Requirements
    • Due Process
  • Statutory Authority
    • Condominiums: Old Act/New Act
    • HOAs: Homeowners Association Act
  • Reasonableness
    • Characteristics of reasonable rules
    • Case law
  • Due Process
    • Notice and Opportunity to be Heard
    • Hearing Boards
  • Fine Schedules
    • Examples
  • Enforcement
    • Types of enforcement
    • Due diligence
    • Notice
    • Opportunity to cure
    • Hearings
    • Legal Action
  • Other enforcement tools
    • Suspension of rights
    • Right of entry
    • Municipal authorities
  • Tenant Enforcement
    • Owner responsibility
    • Direct enforcement
    • Eviction
  • Common Issues
    • Architectural restrictions
    • Parking
    • Smoking

Take It from Us (Literally!): Boundary Disputes, Plats, View Protection, and How to Lose Property Rights if You’re Not Careful

Presented by attorneys Tony Rafel and Tim Feth

Plats are the most commonly overlooked documents that define the legal rights of our communities. And what landowners don’t know about their plats can hurt them. For example, if you don’t know that a neighbor’s fence encroaches on your land, after ten years the neighbor can become the lawful owner of the trespassed-upon land! Known as “adverse possession,” these situations can lead to expensive litigation. In order to avoid contentious and often emotionally-charged legal battles, our community board members and leaders have a responsibility to listen to what our plats are trying to tell us: Where are the legal boundaries of our property? What other persons or entities could have rights in the property? Are there any restrictions on how sections of the property can be used? Consulting your plat is essential in answering these questions. We’ll discuss how to read a plat, what information to look for, and what to do with that information.

  • The importance of the plat
    • What is it
    • Compare to condo survey map and plans
    • Compare to survey
    • What information does it contain?
      • Legal boundaries/Lot lines
      • Easements
      • Encroachments
    • What information is not contained in the plat?
    • How does the plat interact with the association’s governing documents?
  • The role of surveying
    • Compares legal boundaries with physical boundaries
    • When should an association have one conducted?
  • Boundary disputes
    • Adverse Possession and related legal theories
      • Overview of elements, purpose
      • Overview of the doctrine of Mutual Recognition and Acquiescence
      • Statute of limitations
    • Examples of HOA/Condo boundary disputes
      • Disputes with neighboring properties
      • Disputes within communities
    • Boundary disputes and the role of the Washington Condominium Act
  • View Protection
    • How are view easements created
      • Covenants
      • Easements
    • Examples/cases

[11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.]   Networking Lunch & Legislative Update in Exhibit Hall

[1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.]   Panel Discussion

People Problems: Dealing with difficult owners, tenants and board members

Panelists to include attorneys, managers and homeowners

Even the best associations face inevitable conflicts. When occupants don’t follow the rules, board members and managers must make difficult decisions in how to best address problems. When it is the Board itself that may be contributing to the problem, the issues become even more complicated. This panel discussion will feature experienced community managers and attorneys, offering advice on identifying problems and providing tools and solutions for these unique situations.

Topics will include:

  • Disruptive and disorderly occupants
  • Mental health issues
  • Illegal acts
  • Unauthorized alterations
  • Prohibited business activities
  • Director conflicts of interest
  • Rogue boards
  • Board removal
  • Codes of conduct
  • Governing document enforcement


Register for Law Day South

Click the form image to download a printable pdf, or to register online:


David Silver

David Silver

Partner and Seattle’s lead general counsel at Barker Martin, P.S.

David Silver is a partner and Seattle’s lead general counsel at Barker Martin, P.S. Dave’s practice focuses on advising condominium and homeowner associations regarding all aspects of governance, assisting associations with their day-to-day interactions with third parties, and interpreting, amending and enforcing CC&Rs. Dave is an active member of WSCAI and has been a speaker at numerous educational events.

Ken Harer, CCAL

Ken Harer, CCAL

Managing Partner, Condo Law's

Ken Harer, CCAL is Condo Law’s managing partner. He’s an experienced attorney and has been working with community associations for more than 20 years. He offers legal assistance with contracts, construction disputes, and warranties related to the Washington Condominium Act and general legal advice on interpretation, enforcement, and modification of governing documents. Ken formerly held a Reserve Specialist (RS) designation and but spends the majority of his time overseeing Condominium Law Group. In fall 2010, Ken was inducted into the College of Community Association Lawyers and now holds the CCAL designation.

Richard Perry

Richard Perry

Community Association Manager, SUHRCO Residential Properties, LLC

Richard Perry is a Community Association Manager at SUHRCO Residential Properties, LLC and has been in the property management industry for ten years. He’s managed apartments, mixed use buildings, and community associations and enjoys the diverse perspective that all of those styles bring. Richard enjoys advocating and assisting his clients to move the association forward as best as possible.

Ken Strauss

Ken Strauss

Partner, Flanagan Strauss, PLLC

Ken Strauss is a partner at Flanagan Strauss, PLLC, providing representation in all aspects of community association law. Since 1999, Mr. Strauss has focused his practice on community associations, serving hundreds of associations in Western Washington as well as California. His practice includes general counsel services, construction defect litigation, dispute resolution, contract negotiation and formation of non-profit corporations.

Anthony L. (“Tony”) Rafel

Anthony L. (“Tony”) Rafel

Managing Partner, Rafel Law Group, PLLC

Anthony “Tony” Rafel serves as Vice President of WSCAI’s Board of Directors. Tony has been practicing law in the Pacific Northwest for more than 35 years, focusing on community association law for the last 25 years. He is the Managing Partner of Rafel Law Group PLLC, with offices in Seattle and Portland, and practices actively in both states, handling construction defect and product defect, insurance recovery, covenant and rule enforcement, boundary and view disputes, and nuisance cases, among many others.

Tim Feth

Tim Feth

Associate Attorney, Rafel Law Group, PLLC

Tim Feth joined Rafel Law Group PLLC as an associate attorney in 2016 after graduating with honors from the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to law school, Tim earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from Central Washington University. He currently serves on WSCAI’s Market Expansion Committee.

Theresa Torgesen, Esq.

Theresa Torgesen, Esq.

Partner, Sound Legal Partners, PLLC

Theresa Torgesen, Partner at Sound Legal Partners, PLLC is an experienced attorney who has dedicated most of her career to representing condominium and homeowner associations as general counsel. She supports association managers and board members in their community leadership roles, assists them in identifying and addressing potential risks, and collaborates with them to develop practical solutions when problems arise. Theresa is passionate about education and advocacy and is an active volunteer for WSCAI. She is a frequent presenter of educational seminars and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the CAI Washington State Legislative Action Committee (LAC).

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