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Rental Cap Voting Req. Now Possibly 90%

By September 15, 2015

If your condo building doesn’t have a rental cap and is considering imposing one you want to pay attention to this September 4th supreme court opinion [pdf] which says you may need a super majority, so 90% of homeowners voting in favor, instead of 67%.

We were tipped off about the opinion from the Seattle Times, Ruling affects condos, renting [scroll down].

Some condominium associations in Washington state may have a tougher time restricting the number of units that can be rentals in light of a recent state Supreme Court decision, attorneys say.

More broadly, a condo association formed after July 1, 1990, that tries to make any amendment to its main governing document, known as a declaration, may now face challengers who say the changes require 90 percent approval — a supermajority — much higher than the 67 percent approval typically needed.

That led us to lawyer Dan Zimberoff’s blog post on it, Supreme Court Publishes Filmore Opinion:

1. The ruling is limited to condominiums governed by the WCA; thus, “Old Act” condominiums and homeowner associations should remain unaffected.

2. The Filmore decision turned on specific language of the Declaration. Consequently, all WCA, or “New Act”, condominium associations will have to look beyond RCW 64.34.264(4), and consider how their particular Declaration defines or refers to “uses” in determining what percentage of owner vote is required to approve a Declaration amendment.

3. Piggybacking on number (2) above, it is conceivable that persons will use the Filmore opinion to challenge almost any Declaration amendment, arguing the amendment changes the “use” of a unit, thus triggering a 90% supermajority approval; especially in instances where the proposed amendment covers a provision identified or referred to in the Declaration as a “use.”

Wondering what your building’s rental cap is? Check our rental cap list. Know your building’s rental cap? Please add it.