Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
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  • Unpaid Assessments: Liens & Personal Obligations - Part I
    Under state law in Washington and Oregon, Condominium and Homeowner Associations have the authority to adopt and amend budgets, and levy and collect assessments from owners for the common expenses. But it can be confusing what happens when an owner does not pay the assessment. This two-part article discusses the personal obligation of the owner to pay the assessment and the lien that is created w...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Wildfires
    It is both eerie and remarkable to observe the smoke blanketing the Duwamish river, Port of Seattle and SoDo. However, the smoke is more than just a curious sight or eye irritant. It is a signal of inconvenience, hardship and even danger for some fellow members of our community, particularly those that live close to impacted areas.
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • It's That Time of Year Again…
    As the leaves begin to change and the temperature begins to drop, that can only mean one thing… Fantasy Football is back! Ok, perhaps not the answer you were expecting. It is estimated that more than 59 million people will participate in some form of fantasy football this year. Personally, I look forward to taking the money of my friends and coworkers. Our Seattle office will continue to pick ever...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Dog Days of Summer
    With the mercury hitting record highs this week, I look out my office window and dream of jumping into a nice cool pool. As a community association attorney, my brain automatically shifts from recreation to work mode. I recently helped a client update their community pool rules and thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight potential pitfalls for associations attempting to regulate summ...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Unlike Riding a Bike
    Recently, I bought new mountain bike, after not owning a bike for years. When the bike arrived, I unpacked it, put it together, bolted on the wheels and handlebars, hopped on and just rode off. People often say you never forget how to ride a bike to mean that, once learned, certain skills never go away. Sadly, that same phrase does not apply to many aspects of managing associations. While a ma...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Association Committees
    Committees can be a productive tool for condominium and homeowners associations. Committees, such as budget committees or architectural control committees, can promote increased participation by owners, benefit from unique owner expertise, and help reduce the workload imposed on volunteer board members. However, to properly benefit from the use of committees, it is essential that they are create...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Is a Loan Right for Your Community?
    At a time when many condominiums are old enough to require major repairs or renovations, community associations can be overwhelmed by the cost. The word is definitely out that a community association loan may be a viable option for many communities. In contrast to a lump sum special assessment, the ability to pay a loan back over a period of years has the potential to lessen the financial impact...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Oregon Trailblazing
    A large part of my practice is assisting associations and property owners with first party insurance claims. For those I haven't had a chance to work with, a first party insurance claim is a claim against an association or owner's own property insurance policy. These claims often involve significant property damage to properties that are past the statute of limitations to pursue the developer or c...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Guiding Principles for Enforcement Hearings
    Since our enforcement hearing presentation at WSCAI's Made for Managers Day a couple of weeks ago, we have been getting a lot of feedback on the variety of procedures employed for community association enforcement hearings, generally with the question "is it okay to do it this way?" First, a big thanks to all of you who attended our presentation (and MFMD 2017 in general)! Second, the primary ta...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Summer is Prime Community Time
    One of the primary objectives of a community association board of directors is to facilitate and encourage a sense of connection within their physical community.
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Consider the Source
    The internet can be a wonderful resource but BEWARE: Not everything you read on the internet is true or accurate. It is also not a substitute for professional advice.
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Online Harassment and Risk of Liability Under Fair Housing Laws
    My colleagues and I have blogged about the importance of recognizing requests for reasonable accommodations/modifications, carefully and thoughtfully considering them, and properly responding in a timely manner. We like to think our posts on this topic have helped a few association boards make better decisions, but if the case discussed below is any indication, more information and discussion is ...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Pre-Existing Conditions
    It is difficult to turn on the news or open a newspaper (do people still do that?) without hearing a discussion of pre-existing conditions. The discussion relates to replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I am fortunate that employer-provided health insurance isn't impacted by the ACA, as my affinity for burritos could actually qualify as a pre-exiting condition subjecting me to increased p...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Here Comes the Sun
    In preparation for writing this week's blog post, I googled songs about the sun. Dozens of cheery, happy songs immediately sprung from the internet. Out of curiosity, I also googled songs about rain. A few select, dreary, and depressing songs popped up. I decided on Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. The reason: we finally get at least a tease of sunshine indicating spring is on the way. After 738...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Election Got'cha!
    This is the time of the year when many community associations hold board member elections. The process is easy, right? The association identifies the number of open positions, solicits nominations, sends out a meeting notice with candidate information and proxies in accordance with the governing documents (usually bylaws), and conducts the meeting following protocols outlined in the governing docu...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Discover the Truth About Your Contractor
    A recent newspaper article warned homeowners of an inspector who had been fined more than $80,000 by Oregon's Construction Contractors Board (or "CCB") for performing illegitimate inspections and using the license number of an inspector who had the same first and last name. It is a reminder that licensure comes with important consumer protections, including insurance and bond requirements and oth...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • You Won the Election, Now What?
    Congratulations! You threw your hat in the ring, ran a vigorous issues-based campaign promising to shake up the establishment, and ultimately won a seat on your association's board of directors. Once the champagne stops flowing, consider the following tips to get your term off to a productive start.
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Limited Common Elements
    Are we dealing with part of a unit, the common elements or a limited common element? This is often the first question when analyzing maintenance, repair and replacement responsibilities in a condominium. That question also often relates to: Who pays?
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Complete Coverage Should Not Be an Alien Concept
    I recently read an article stemming from NASA's discovery of seven exoplanets, three of which may support life. The article discussed an insurance company called Budget Insurance that is now issuing policies protecting policyholders against alien invasion. After doing some digging, I also discovered that another insurer is selling alien abduction insurance. The latter company has already sold more...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Many Shades of Grey
    One of the main reasons I love practicing common interest community law is its newness. Compare condominium law to, say, contract law, which can be linked thousands of years all the way back to the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (est. 1792-95 BC). Or what about Normative or English Common Law, that also trace back centuries?
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • 'Tis the Season of the Annual Meeting
    Reaching the end of the contentious and hotly contested national election was no doubt a relief for many of us. However, for our community association clients, there is no rest for the weary because late winter and spring is association annual meeting season!
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Protestors Are Such a Riot!
    Regardless of your political persuasion or tolerance for political activism, it is evident that protests are becoming a routine experience around the country. Portland alone has had seven separate organized protests since January 19th. This number does not include spontaneous demonstrations or protests. The thing about protests is that the protestors rarely stop to ask whether your home, business,...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Rigged (HOA!) Elections
    A few months ago, the Chairman and Secretary of a Pennsylvania community association were convicted by a jury of election fraud. The directors schemed to fill out ballots to stack the deck in upcoming board elections. An attorney in Las Vegas plead guilty to a similar charges a few years back. He was part of a plan to falsify ballots to elect board members that would direct business to certain...
  • I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore
    Kansas, of course, is in the heart of Tornado Alley and home to the most famous tornado of them all: the one that swept Dorothy into the Land of Oz. Recently, however, Oregon and Washington felt the effects of multiple tornadoes. Two tornadoes touched down in Oregon in October. Tornado warnings were also issued for several cities in Washington. The tornadoes and strong winds wreaked havoc on homes...
  • What Did That Say?? Political Signs & Free Speech
    It is often said that this U.S. presidential election has been the most polarizing election in modern times, if not all time. Because of the strong opinions on every side, more and more community associations are having to address not just the mere existence of these signs, but also the content.
  • Election Season
    (Don't worry. No discussion of the Presidential race which means it's safe to read on.) Many community associations are preparing to elect new directors this time of year. As you approach elections, I offer a couple of observations for comprising a board of directors.
  • Neutrality
    Association boards deal with a variety of unit owner behaviors and personalities. Some are positive, some are negative, and some are downright inexplicable. This can lead to both real and perceived bias.
  • Legislative Alert
    The 2017 Washington State legislative session commenced on January 7, 2017 and is in full swing. It's expected to be another active session involving condominium and homeowner associations. Hearings are already taking place and bills are being introduced.
  • Sure, you can read it but this is our STANDARD LANGUAGE
    We have all seen onerous and unfair language in contracts, waivers, releases, invoices, disclaimers, disclosures, notices. Sometimes it is in the dreaded "fine print." Sometimes it is in large bolded, underlined print. When one party challenges such language, we often hear the response: This is "industry standard."
  • Possession after Judicial Foreclosure
    Recently, the Division 1 Court of Appeals of Washington issued its opinion in the case of Viewcrest Condominium Association v. Robertson, 2016 WL 7470025 (December 27, 2016). The decision by the Court in Viewcrest will need to be considered when evaluating collection of delinquent condominium assessments in Washington.
  • Dealing With Ice is Anything But Neat
    Those of us in the Northwest were recently hit with the first round of winter snowstorms. My children are avid weather watchers (in hopes of future school closures), so I understand that we are in store for several more storms in the coming months. Winter snow and ice inevitably result in a host of insurance claims. Some of these are relatively predictable. Think auto accidents and trees falling. ...
  • Tree Trouble - Part II, Self-Help
    In part one of our three-part series on Tree Trouble, my colleague David Silver wrote about Timber Trespass. In this post, I'm going to discuss self-help. Self-help is the legal term that describes "taking the law into your own hands"—literally. In this context, it would include a property owner getting out their pruning shears or shovel and cutting or trimming parts of a neighbor's tree that infr...
  • Tree Trouble - Part I, Timber Trespass
    One aspect of real property law that I find interesting is how some of the nastiest legal disputes are between neighboring property owners. On one hand, it would seem incumbent upon neighbors to be friendly and cooperative to one another because they are forced to interact regularly. On the other hand, the likelihood, or at least opportunity, for disputes seems to increase proportionately the clo...
  • What Should You Trust In After a Volatile Election?
    I don't know if you remember this, but there was an election recently that was rather volatile. Whether you are happy or unhappy with the outcome, the question on everyone's mind is: What happens next? How will our government change? How will we be governed? The final answer to those questions will not be known for some time, but what we do know is that whatever the intent, significant change ...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • New FHA Rules to Create New Association Duties
    On September 13, HUD released new rules for the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that will impact community associations. Under these new rules, which take effect on October 14, 2016, a community association could face liability for the discriminatory acts of residents who harass or create a hostile environment for other residents.
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • The Business Judgment Rule
    Community Association board members frequently ask, "What is the standard we're held to when we vote and make decisions?" The standard of conduct in Oregon and Washington is colloquially known as the "Business Judgment Rule." Application of the Business Judgment Rule comes into play in nearly all board decision making from deciding how far to pursue a collections matter to selecting a contractor...
Barker Martin, PS
Barker Martin, PS
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • The Price is Wrong
    As a kid, whenever I was home sick I'd be faced with the inevitable problem faced by thousands in my situation: what to watch on daytime television. As soap operas were not my speed, I'd almost always settle on game shows. My favorite, like many, was the Price is Right. Some days I'd be lucky enough to catch my favorite part of the show; the $1 bid. When the other contestants grossly overestimated...

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