Managers Only Meeting (MOM)

[ 1/27/2022 Meeting Topic ]

Association Insurance Claims – How To Keep Your Head Above Water!

Loss events at community associations are inevitable. They involve several moving parts and require multiple parties to work in sync in order to achieve the best outcomes.

Join us as we take a deep dive into the role each party plays and explain the importance of proper coordination and communication. We will guide you through a loss event from the initial response, to filing a claim, through completion of repairs.

Our goal is to provide tools that can assist with maintaining organization and efficiency throughout the process.

Presenter(s):

(Click image for full presenter bio.)

Alycia Maykovich
Project Manager - Agynbyte LLC
Brett Nebeker
Agency Principal - Rice Insurance
Joe Birkmeyer
Project Manager, Insurance Department - McLeod Construction, LLC

Pricing

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r
New MOM requirement: To ensure receipt of one (1) clock hour, managers must show engagement by showing up on camera, fully engaged.

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5K For LAC

[ Events ]

5K For LAC

5k For LAC - September 22 - Mobile Image

Join Us To Raise Money For WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee

September 22, 2021 Beginning At 8:30 a.m.

Bridal Trails State Park, Kirkland

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5K For LAC: Race for the LAC!

Join us with your WSCAI colleagues for the 5K For LAC, hosted by the Community Outreach Committee & benefiting WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee!

Date & Times

Wednesday,
September 22
Schedule:

Registration: 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Announcements: 9:45 a.m.
Runners: 10:00 a.m.
Run/Walk: 10:06 a.m.
Walkers**: 10:10 a.m.

**Walkers should be finished
by 11:30 a.m.

Location

Bridal Trails State Park

5300 116th Ave NE,
Kirkland, WA 98033
Directions

Additional Information

The park requires a Discovery Pass. Here’s a link to order one if you don’t have one (there is a one day pass option available for $11.50).
Carpooling is recommended.

Pricing

Individual Entry Fee: $35
* Special Offer*

Register By September 7 to receive an official LAC For 5K t-shirt!

Team of 5 Entry Fee: $150
* Special Offer*

Register By September 7 to receive official LAC For 5K t-shirts!

What Is This Thing Called LAC?

The LAC or Legislative Action Committee is a group of WSCAI member volunteers who review drafts of bills, work with lobbyists, and provide testimony to ensure that laws passed in Washington state promote the interests of community associations. LAC volunteers represent different facets of community association life: homeowners, community managers, attorneys and other Business Partners.

The LAC’s Mission: To positively influence legislation that directly impacts community associations and their residents.

What has the LAC done for you lately?

  • Earlier this year, the LAC worked to defeat two harmful construction defect bills that would have left homeowners in small condo communities without warranty protections.
  • In July, the LAC worked with the Governor’s office to permit fines for covenant violations while still prohibiting fees and interest for late assessments.
  • Currently, the LAC is working to make remote meetings and electronic voting permanent for community associations. The LAC wants the convenience and time- and cost-savings of these online capabilities to continue after the pandemic emergency ends.

What can you do for the LAC?

  • Your testimony helps capture the attention of lawmakers and illustrates how proposed legislation impacts the people who live in community associations.
  • Your donations ensure the LAC retains professional lobbyists who keep the channels of communication open with policy makers and government officials.

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LAC End of Legislative Session Report 2020

LAC End of Legislative Session Report 2020

[ Blog/News ]

LAC End of Legislative Session Report 2020

Washington’s 2020 Legislative Session ended on March 12. The Washington State Chapter of Community Associations Institute (WSCAI) had a very successful year. The bills described below and outcomes noted are a small snapshot of the hundreds of hours of work by WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee (LAC) and the Chapter’s professional lobbyists to advance the interests of homeowners living in community associations in Washington State.

Bill Descriptions & Outcomes:

Construction Defect Bills: SB 5219 & HB 1576 (OPPOSE)

Spot Art: Legal Fees and CostsLast Session, several bills were introduced that would have eliminated condominium warranties from projects with 7 or fewer units, including SB 5219 and HB 1576. The Chapter opposed those bills. The bills did not pass last session but they were automatically reintroduced this session under Washington’s biennium legislative procedures. SB 5219 was a point of contention with last minute attempts to amend and pass the bill within hours of the House of Origin Cutoff. We are pleased to report that the bill did not pass.

HB 1165 – Low Water Landscaping (SUPPORT)

Spot Art: Legal Fees and CostsHB 1165 passed out of Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee, with WSCAI, Department of Ecology, and League of Women voters all testifying in support. Under the bill, community association boards will no longer be allowed to outright ban low-water and wildfire ignition-resistant landscaping but will retain the ability to decide what water-efficient and wildfire ignition-resistant landscaping will be allowed and the aesthetics of the landscaping. In addition, community associations cannot fine residents who are following drought emergency guidelines issued by the Department of Ecology. The bill passed almost unanimously from both chambers (House: 93-4-1 & Senate: 46-2-1) and was signed by the Governor. The law takes effect June 11, 2020.

SB 5168 – Homeowner Notices of Fines (SUPPORT)

Spot Art: Legal Fees and CostsSB 5168 originally added a 45-day notice period before community associations could issue fines. Over the last few years, WSCAI and the Washington Commission on African American Affairs worked on a compromise solution. The bill, supported by WSCAI, stated that notice should be given in a reasonable time frame and a chance to appeal to the board should be provided in a fair manner. The bill made it out of the Senate (47-1-1) but died in the House due to lack of time.

SB 6617 – Accessory Dwelling Units (NEUTRAL)

Spot Art: Legal Fees and CostsHB 2570 and SB 6617 dealt with the issue of facilitating and promoting the use of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) through changes to development and zoning regulations. WSCAI was able to include language making the new requirements “subject to” recorded covenants in common interest communities. That language was challenged by certain parties in the final days of the session but we were able to keep it intact. The bill passed and was signed by the Governor on March 27.

WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee is made up of homeowners, community managers, and business partners who volunteer their time and expertise to benefit the more than 2.1 million homeowners living in community associations in Washington State whose interests the Chapter represents.

As the session wraps up, let’s all take a moment to thank them for their work! End Of Article

Advocacy

Learn more about WSCAI’s advocacy efforts through our Legislative Action Committee (LAC). 

Donate To WSCAI’s Legislative Action Committee

Your contribution is critical in helping the LAC fulfill their advocacy mission.

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Community Association Service Provider Event Washington

[ Blog/News ]

Community Association Service Provider Event Washington

WSCAI Summer Mixer 8.20.2014

Washington State Community Associations Institute (WSCAI) Business Partner Summer Mixer at Matthews Winery was a smashing success! We had nice wine, delicious pizza from Dogfather Catering, enjoyable music performed by Ian Skavdahl and, beautiful weather. Thank you to the 75 business partners and managers who participated in the evening. This event was specific for businesses which provide services to community associations in Washington.

 

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Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

[ Blog/News ]

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

Bed bug bites can be itchy and even somewhat painful, but sometimes what is most painful is the expense and hassle of remediating these pests. There are three types of treatments at the professional level: pesticide, heat and freezing (“cryo”). Pesticide based treatments utilize a combination of a pesticide and an insect growth regulator (IGR), while heating or freezing systems manipulate the ambient temperature in a home. Heat or freezing solutions will still utilize amounts of pesticide, and all three options require a considerable amount of resident compliance in terms of preparation regardless of the treatment system. Typically pesticide-based treatments are the least expensive, as there is considerable expense (and insurance) around the two heat systems.

Have A Bed-Bug Policy For Your Community

What can be most frustrating about bed bugs is that they can be easily re-introduced to a home that was just treated, and very few pest control companies offer a warranty on the service due to the reliance on occupant compliance. In multi-family dwellings such as condos, the treatment costs can skyrocket as the bed bugs spread from one unit to the next in search of their next meal. Because of this, it is wise to have a clearly defined bed bug policy in your CC&Rs. This policy should define who is financially responsible for the treatment, but new light is being shed on best practices around this.

In recent news, a family in Everett entered into a legal dispute with their management firm and COA over what type of bed bug treatment would be done at their house. It turns out the property did not have a bed bug policy, so the COA instructed their association manager to move forward with a pesticide-based treatment, as it was the lowest expense. The daughter has a medical condition that led the resident to demand a heat treatment, and a dispute arose when the COA refused to shoulder the added expense. This is the first I’ve heard of this variable arising, where a medical condition mandates a specific pest treatment, but I’m sure it can come up again.

Almost every month we encounter another HOA or COA that doesn’t have a bed bug policy, and ends up shouldering the cost of treatment. Ultimately each COA/HOA needs to make the decision that best meets the budgetary constraints while serving their community. Consult with your pest control company to know in advance what treatment options are available as not every company can offer all options, and have a clear escalation plan that addresses any re-treatment expense or alternate treatment expense.

How To Keep Bed Bugs At Bay

There are ways that communities can reduce the likelihood of these troublesome pests, and spending time reviewing these tips with residents is time well spent:

  • Never pick up any furniture left on the side of the road, as tempting as that leather couch may be.
  • Any consignment or second-hand clothing should go directly into the wash from the store. 125 degree heat or higher from the dryer kills bed bugs, so that is the most important aspect of the wash cycle. Take note of what articles may shrink in that heat, however; in some cases dry-cleaning may be necessary.
  • For travelers, thorough inspections of the room prior to unpacking will prevent unwanted hitchhikers in your luggage. Your pest control vendor should be able to provide inspection tips.
  • Bed bugs can also be introduced by visitors who transport them unknowingly in their clothing or luggage. Once your guests have left, a simple inspection of the bed, including the mattress and box spring, can catch the infestation early on before it spreads.
  • If you suspect that you have bed bugs, resist the urge to start sleeping in the next room. Bed bugs have a highly tuned sense of heat detection, as well as the ability to locate a human body from the carbon dioxide we exhale. This can provide very short-term relief (one or two nights) but the bed bugs will follow and spread throughout the house.
  • Raise community awareness that bed bugs are not a pest that can be resolved without professionals. Internet myths abound on how to eliminate bed bugs including mint oil, steam, and even just throwing out the mattress. Calling in a pest control company as soon as it is evident that there is a bed bug problem can save time and money, as typically the more rooms that need treatment the larger the treatment expense.

Bye-Bye Bed Bugs!

Invest some time in educating your community and in creating a plan. Having a clear policy that not only spells out financial responsibility but also speaks to any contingencies that require alternative solutions will prevent bed bugs from biting your budgets.

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Special Assessments: Options For Owners, Options For Associations

[ Blog/News ]

Special Assessments: Options For Owners, Options For Associations

At some point, the need to collect special assessments to cover major or unexpected costs is a fact of life for community associations. What process must an association follow when the need for a special assessment arises?

The Budget Process

The budget process for Washington community associations is constrained both by statute and by each community’s governing documents. Special assessments, even though they might sometimes be unanticipated, are themselves a budget, and therefore the same procedures must be followed to adopt special assessments as to adopt a budget. Those procedures will vary depending on the type of association and the details of the association’s governing documents.

The process starts with the association’s board of directors. The board should, after consulting any necessary experts and considering community input, adopt a proposed budget and mail copies to all the owners. Then, if the association is a New Act COA or an HOA, the board must call a meeting for owners to ratify (or not) the proposed special assessment budget. (Old Act condos must follow the procedures set forth in their governing documents.) If the owners do not ratify the proposed budget, the old budget remains in place. For special assessments, failing to ratify the special assessment budget means that the board cannot impose the special assessment.

Lump Sum, or Payments?

Should you collect the entire amount of a special assessment as a lump sum, or should you divide the assessment into installment payments? One possibility for some communities is for the association to take out a loan which the members pay off through a special assessment spread over several years. Each option has advantages and disadvantages.

An association may have better success with installment payments; the owners might not have the cash to pay up front, and might appreciate the opportunity to make payments over time. However, one disadvantage of this is that the association may not obtain the amount needed to pay for immediate expenses. If the assessment is needed to pay for something crucial, such as a leaking roof, waiting to collect the money may not be an option. But if the association plans ahead, collecting payments over time can be a good option.

There are costs associated with collecting payments over time. Management companies may charge a fee ranging from $5 to more than $20 per unit every month. If this is collected monthly on a large number of homes, this cost can be substantial, and may be a cost the association has to pay as a common expense. If a loan is obtained, there will also be bank fees, interest due, and attorney’s fees related to the loan. And the association as a whole still bears the risk if owners fail to make payments no matter how they are structured.

If the assessment per unit is small, collecting a lump sum from the owners can be the simplest option. One way to help owners is to try to plan ahead for large expenses and give the owners lots of notice before the money becomes due. For instance, if the property will need a substantial repair in 5 months, let the owners know as soon as possible and give them time to come up with the money or sell their homes. Owners with equity in their properties may be able to secure personal loans, a line of credit, or refinance their units to pay the assessment. When an owner borrows to pay a lump sum, the costs and risks associated with the loan are borne by the individual owner instead of the association.

If a home goes into bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings, the nature of the assessment will affect the loss the association experiences. An acquirer (bank or buyer) must pay any assessments that become due in the future, such as payments to be made periodically on a special assessment; however, an acquirer usually is not obligated to pay for a past due, delinquent assessment of one large lump sum. (See RCW 64.34.264.) With a stream of payments, only the past due payments are wiped out.

Educating Owners On Special Assessments

Possibly the most important aspect of negotiating special assessments for a community is the process of educating the owners about what the needs of the community are. One way to do this is through the use of appropriate professionals. A reserve study professional, architect, or attorney may be able to appear at a meeting, or prepare a written statement for the owners’ reference. If the owners understand that an assessment will protect their homes and their investment, they may be more willing to pay. Another consideration is to make sure the board’s actions reflect the values of your individual community; owners may prioritize the property’s appearance, or may prioritize making only the most necessary of repairs. Making decisions on behalf of the owners which reflect their values will get the most support from the owners and make this entire process easier.

When considering special assessments, educate and communicate with owners, get their input on ability to pay lump sum or a stream of payments, balance the need for funds against the risk of nonpayment for different payment options, and make the best decision you can.

By Eliza Jane Manoff

Article first appeared in the August 2013 issue of WSCAI Community Associations Journal.
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