WSCAI Names Mary Helen Roberts as Legislator of the Year

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WSCAI Names Mary Helen Roberts as Legislator of the Year

State Representative Mary Helen Roberts (D-Lynnwood) has been named WSCAI’s 2011 Legislator of the Year. She will be recognized at the annual CA Day event on September 24 in Bellevue.

Roberts prime sponsored House Bill 1309 which clarifies and expands the reserve study disclosure requirements for condominium owners and extends the law to homeowner associations with significant assets. The WSCAI Legislative Action Committee (LAC) worked closely with Rep. Roberts on the bill.

“Representative Roberts went above and beyond for the homeowners this session,” said Jeremy Stilwell, WSCAI LAC Co-Chair. “We are fortunate to have her knowledge and tenacity working on behalf of homeowners in Olympia.”

As a condominium owner herself, Rep. Roberts was able to share her personal perspective on why disclosure of such important information is critical to the financial stability of a community association.

“We are thankful for Representative Roberts’ ongoing advocacy for the homeowners of this state,” said Michael Brandt, WSCAI LAC Co-Chair. “Her firsthand knowledge of living in a community association and understanding the need to provide transparent disclosure of such important financial documents is immeasurable.”

HB 1309 passed the House of Representatives 95-1 and the Senate 48-1. The bill takes effect January 1, 2012.

Legislature eager to address major revisions to common interest ownership statutes

In June the House Judiciary committee held a work session in Olympia to get an update regarding developments from a group of attorneys who are preparing to submit a substantive update of the Condominium and Homeowner Association Acts to the 2012 Legislature.

The group, now a subcommittee of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Real Property Section, commenced its effort in the spring of 2009 to thoroughly review the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA), which was adopted by the National Uniform Law Commission. The WSBA group consists of developer attorneys, an individual homeowner attorney and a community association attorney. While there are a few attorneys that have taken the onerous task of drafting the legislation, stakeholders, such as WSCAI, are included in the larger participant group that will offer feedback on the work product as it is developing.  The benefit of adopting some form of UCIOA in Washington State is to provide a model set of laws to govern condominium, cooperative, and planned unit development communities. The passage of such legislation will provide consistency and clarity to those living in and governing these communities.

WSCAI will actively be monitoring and participating in these discussions, so stay tuned for updates.

Efforts to license Community Association Managers could be on the horizon

Legislation took effect in July 2010 that redefined much of the real estate licensing laws. Although there were attempts to add community association management to those duties of a licensed real estate broker, WSCAI was successful in having those references eliminated from the final legislation.

In late 2010, the Department of Licensing received inquiries on whether or not Community Association Managers (CAM) needed to be licensed as real estate brokers. Because there was no specific definition of what a CAM is, or that it is specifically not a real estate broker, the Department is working with WSCAI in seeking clarification. One of the options to avoid having to require CAMs to be licensed brokers is to create a separate licensing requirement for CAMs. WSCAI will be presenting an update on this issue at CA Day and will be updating members accordingly in the Journal.

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