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Condominium Association Disputes

Seattle Real Estate Attorney

Water Damage can be a Catalyst for Association Disputes

Disputes in condominium associations are about many different things. Construction defect issues often have to do with problems that originate in association common areas or in one condominium unit and cause additional problems in another owner’s condominium unit. In Washington, the biggest catalyst for these types of disputes is water. We assist owners in dealing with situations where water started in an upper condominium unit and flooded the whole stack of units below them, as well as in instances where water migrates in through poorly sealed siding, roofs, and other common elements.

Is Your Association Underfunded in its Reserves?

Sometimes volunteer directors of a condominium association have not fulfilled their duty in maintaining association property and an individual condominium unit owner is impacted by the deferred maintenance. Reserve studies are performed to guide association boards regarding their funding needs for maintenance over the long term. Sometimes reserves are unfunded or underfunded and special assessments are levied to pay for unfunded maintenance items. This failure to plan ahead often causes distress among some members of the association.

My Neighbor’s a Nuisance

When people live ceiling to floor or wall to wall, some activities cause nuisances to their neighbors. These disputes may be about the smell of your condominium unit neighbors’ cigarette or marijuana smoke. It may be about the volume of music or the alteration of flooring material in your upstairs neighbor’s unit that is now causing you to lose sleep. Often our first recommendation in these situations is to communicate with the offending owner or resident. If that communication doesn’t help resolve the matter, the next thing to do is to objectify the nuisance through the use of decibel meters, meters that measure cigarette smoke, and other recording devices. Through the use of this technology, you can gather evidence of the activities that your neighbors are engaged in that only you are experiencing. With the evidence of these activities in hand, we can often convince your neighbors to alter their activities.

Rental Caps & Short Term Rentals

Sometimes, a condominium associations’ board of directors fails to appropriately hold votes on important amendments to the association’s governing documents. Particularly prevalent these days are disputes over rental caps and short-term rentals, such as Airbnb and VRBO listings. Amendments to the association’s Declaration are generally necessary to make these types of changes. Sometimes associations attempt to make these amendments in their Bylaws or House Rules rather than in the Declarations, which often cause the amendments to be invalid.

Brandt Law Group utilizes its extensive background in community associations to assist its clients to resolve these disputes through communication, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and if necessary, litigation.