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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

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Division III: Condo Division Without Condo Owners' Consent Void

Club Envy of Spokane, LLC v. The Ridpath Tower Condominium Association

This case might be of interest to those involved in building condominiums or those who are trying prevent condominiums from being built. Here, Revival wanted to create some condos, and it did so. It then altered the condo association agreement a couple of times, you know, without really talking to the condo association about it and letting them weight in on it.

The old hotel became condominiums on February 20, 2008. A couple of amended declarations were filed, the latest being recorded on August 28, 2008. Under the condominium act, RCW 64.34.262(2), “No action to challenge the validity of any amendment adopted by the association pursuant to this section may be brought more than one year after the amendment is recorded.” The key phrase here is “adopted by the association.” Because Club Envy was actually challenging whether there even was a proper amendment because one had not been passed by the association, the statute of limitations did not apply.

Defendants had also argued that Club Envy had waited too long to say anything, and that their silence could be relied upon in moving forward with the changes to the condominiums. However, for silence to mean a cent, Club NV would’ve actually had to have full knowledge of the facts. Without knowing that there was any improper amendment, how could someone challenge it, and how could you consider their silence an assent to something they did not know about.

Essentially, a couple of the directors of the Association didn’t follow the rules, and in doing so took away some of the property rights of some of the condo owners. This was improper:

The record shows the second amended declaration (which created more units, lowered each unit owner's voting rights, and converted some common elements to private ownership) was not passed by all members as statutorily required. Accordingly, the second amended declaration was void ab initio; the trial court properly granted Club Envy's motion for summary judgment, declaring the declaration as such. Because the second amended declaration was void, the trial court properly dismissed Club Envy's other claims relating to application of second amended declaration's voting rights to terms in the first amended declaration. Club Envy acquiesces indicating "resolving the validity of the Second Amended Declaration created an entire resolution to the matter." Resp't Br. at 38.

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