In July 2023, the Horizontal Property Regimes Act (RCW 64.32), Condominium Act (RCW 64.34), and Homeowners Associations statute (RCW 64.38) were amended to provide them with consistent provisions related to Association records, records retention, and disclosure policies across all statutes that govern community associations.  The Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (WUCIOA, RCW 64.90), which was adopted in July 2018, was not affected by the change. Rather, it provided the basis for the amendments described above.

In our May 2023 article, Privacy and Privileged Documents in Washington State Homeowners’ Associations and Condominium Associations, we reference the obligations and limitations set forth in WUCIOA, RCW 64.90.495, which clarifies owners’ rights to access association records.  The link for this article is the following: The article is worth reviewing, as it provides the context for most of the July 2023 amendments that were made to RCW 64.32.170 (Horizontal Property Regimes Act), RCW 64.34.372 (Condominium Act), and RCW 64.38.045 (Homeowners Associations statute).  In short, these three statutes adopted the language of the WUCIOA provision, RCW 64.90.495.

There are few distinct differences between WUCIOA and the three other association statutes. For example, RCW 64.32.170, RCW 64.34.372, and RCW 34.38.045 all contain language which states that the amended statutes apply only to records in the possession of the Association on July 23, 2023, and which have been created or maintained after July 23, 2023. It is important to remember this when making a request to your Association for specific documentation. However, if your Association is governed by WUCIOA, these dates do not apply.

Another key difference is the standard of record keeping that is required.  WUCIOA, at RCW 64.90.495(1)(h), states that Associations must retain: “Financial and other records sufficiently detailed to enable the association to comply with RCW 64.90.640.” RCW 64.34.372(1) and (2) and RCW 64.38.045(1), (2), and (3), contain language that obligate Associations governed under these statutes to a higher standard of record keeping for purposes of compliance with Resale Certificate requirements, auditing requirements, and banking requirements. RCW 64.32.170(10) provides for a relatively low and discretionary standard of record keeping (“All books and records shall be kept in accordance with good accounting procedures and be audited at least once a year by an auditor outside of the organization.”)  While all of these statutes provide for a level of clear record keeping, the Condominium Act and the Homeowners Association statute impose more thorough and succinct requirements on Associations.

The takeaway is to craft your records request to your Association with the statutory policies in mind that govern your specific Association. If you are unsure, ask your Board or Management Company for guidance before hiring an attorney. It is important to understand your rights and your Association’s obligations and limitations in an effort to avoid unnecessary and costly disputes related to records requests.