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WSCAI Mediation Program

Resolve Common Interest Community Disputes — Without Litigation

Serving the needs of homeowners, board members, managers, and vendors, HOAs, Condominiums, Co-ops and Other Planned Communities

Initiate Mediation

WSCAI Mediation Program

Resolve Common Interest Community Disputes — Without Litigation

Serving the needs of homeowners, board members, managers, and vendors, HOAs, Condominiums, Co-ops and Other Planned Communities

Apply For MediationBecome A Mediator

Welcome to WSCAI’s Mediation Program

Types of Cases Accepted:

The WSCAI mediation program is designed to address typical common interest community disputes. These include, but may not be limited to issue such as:

  • Persistent Noise Complaints
  • Unauthorized Improvements or Additions
  • Governance Issues
  • Assessments, Late fees, and Interest
  • Architectural Control Decisions
  • Unit or Common Area Modifications
  • Fences and Boundaries
  • Native Protection Areas, Trees, Vegetation, and Views
  • Use and Restrictions of Common Areas
  • Parking
  • Pets, Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals
  • Reasonable Accommodations or Modifications
  • Responsibility for Insurance Deductible or Damage Amounts
  • Covenant Enforcement
  • Rule Enforcement

What is Mediation:

Mediation is a private, confidential, and inexpensive way for parties to solve disputes.  In mediation, the participants mutually seek to resolve their differences using the services of a trained, neutral, third-party: the mediator.  What Is Mediation? ▸

Communities & Persons Served:

WSCAI’s Mediation Program is designed to serve common interest community associations, their board members, owners, occupants, managers, and vendors.  We include all forms of common interest properties such as single-family homeowner associations, condominiums, cooperatives, master and sub-associations. We serve both members of WSCAI and non-members. The program geographically serves all of Washington State.

How The Mediation Program Works:

The parties each agree to use the service, complete their intake form, and pay their portion of the fee.  WSCAI confirms its intake of the mediation requested. WSCAI will then assign a mediator.  The mediator will communicate with the parties concerning scheduling.  The mediation will typically be set within 30 days.  In person mediations are preferable but may be arranged to occur virtually or through remote communication technology if requested or appropriate due to public health requirements or geography. The mediator will use the information provided on the intake form and other information provided during the mediation to facilitate dialogue between the parties.The mediator will work to assist the parties to resolve their differences and to agree to a mutually acceptable resolution. The agreement will then be put in writing and signed by the participants.

Who Attends the Mediation:

The WSCAI mediation program assists private parties in resolving their disputes, directly with each other. Only the individuals directly involved in the dispute attend the mediation.  The WSCAI mediation program works without attorneys speaking for the participants and without attorneys attending the mediation.  A party may have an attorney or may have sought legal advice. However, like small claims court, attorneys are not permitted to directly represent parties in this facilitative mediation program. If a case is more complex and both parties are represented the matter is likely better suited to what the attorneys would be familiar with as evaluative mediation, commonly known as shuttle diplomacy. Many qualified practitioners in this state offer private, full shuttle mediation services as an alternative to the WSCAI mediation program.

About Our Mediators:

Our mediators include lawyers with years of experience serving community associations, managers holding advanced designations from the Community Associations Institute, and other recognized industry professionals approved by the WSCAI Board of Directors.

Apply To Serve As A WSCAI Mediator ▸

Why Use the Service:

Mediation can be scheduled and completed more quickly and efficiently than litigation or arbitration. Facilitative mediation is far more affordable than litigation or arbitration.  The parties do not waive any rights if they cannot agree, and only resolve their dispute if they voluntarily reach an agreement. Mediation as a process is designed to build voluntary agreement among the participants instead of hardening adversarial positions, which in general is a consequence of formal litigation. This can help to restore good working relations between neighbors who will have a continuing relationship.  Mediation has the potential to improve the parties’ understanding and mutual respect, even if an agreement cannot be reached at the present time.

Mediation Program Intake Form

WSCAI’s Mediation Program offers a private, confidential and inexpensive alternative to litigation, when parties need an assist to resolve a problem or dispute. The program is designed to address day to day community association disputes.

Become A Mediator:

WSCAI invites all qualified candidates to apply to serve as a WSCAI Mediation Program mediator. The WSCAI Mediation Program utilizes the facilitative model for dispute resolution, based upon the county Dispute Resolution Centers’ (DRC) eight step facilitative mediation method.

Mediation Program Flyer

Download Mediation Program Flyer to Print and Share


What is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process, where the parties come together (in-person or virtually) with the intent to solve a problem, or a dispute, aided by a trained, neutral third-party (the mediator).

Mediation is generally less formal than litigation.  The preparation for a mediation is much less involved than courtroom litigation. Mediation is designed to be private and cooperative as opposed to oppositional as you would again find in a courtroom. 

WSCAI’s mediation program is designed to give the participants a structured process that is more immediate and far less costly than litigation.  It aims to assist owners, managers, board members and others involved in the types of disputes that often arise in connection with common interest community living. 


The mediation process offered by WSCAI is called “facilitative” mediation. In facilitative mediation both parties are in the same room with the mediator who facilitates a conversation designed to reach an agreement, or resolution to a problem that all participants are able to agree to.

Guided by the mediator, the participants work toward crafting an agreement they are comfortable with. Both parties must agree – no one can force you to make an agreement.  Each party preserves all of their rights if mediation is not successful.  Because mediation is voluntary and it brings the parties together with the mediator to facilitate the conversation, participants are often able to find common ground to resolve their dispute together.

mediator
The mediator acts as a neutral third party, not as a judge. The mediator does not give the participants legal advice. Rather, the mediator directs the process, tries to understand the goals of the participants and asks questions of the participants to explore areas of agreement and differences in a way that hopefully will lead to agreement.

Participants in mediation are asked to engage in the process in good faith. Good faith has a very specific meaning in mediation.

First, participants are asked to share all relevant information without holding anything back. They are asked to listen respectfully and not interrupt. They are asked to be flexible, without holding a fixed position so that they can be open to all sorts of solutions to a problem, even ones they may not have previously considered.  For example, just because an idea is generated by another participant does not automatically make it unworthy of consideration. Finally, participants are asked to only make agreements they can keep and to keep all agreements that they make.

The process usually lasts a half day (up to three hours).

mediator

WSCAI invites all qualified candidates to apply to serve as a WSCAI Mediation Program mediator.

The WSCAI Mediation Program utilizes the facilitative model for dispute resolution, based upon the county Dispute Resolution Centers’ (DRC) eight step facilitative mediation method. If you are interested in serving as a mediator, please read the eligibility requirements and complete the form on the WSCAI Mediator Application page. You may either complete the form online or print out a pdf form and send it to the WSCAI Chapter office.