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Thread: Open carry and condo associations in Washington state.

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    Regular Member jsanchez's Avatar
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    Open carry and condo associations in Washington state.

    So whats the deal with open carry and condo associations in washington state. I searched the threads here and didn't find anything. I bought a new condo and am wondering if they can ban me. Its a brand new developement and we homeowners have just taken over from the builder. No rules as of yet on the books in this condo developement. Any Idea's on this.
    Last edited by jsanchez; 05-26-2012 at 12:58 AM.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Owning a condo and being part of an HOA myself, I can tell you this...

    They can make up any HOA rule they want that doesn't conflict with law, however enforcing those rules against owners is time consuming and often expensive, so they normally try all other methods first before going the "legal" route. That said, most HOAs have a tendency to avoid making silly rules that start encroaching on civil rights that don't involve alteration of the property in some way.

    As long as your not acting like an ass-hat to people, I seriously doubt you will have troubles in this state. If someone legally carrying a gun on HOA common property is seen as causing a problem, I doubt creating new HOA rules will be the first or even second way they will choose to try to handle it.

    Become an HOA board member, and you will have even less of a chance of having an issue. Might even give you the chance to educate.

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    Regular Member massivedesign's Avatar
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    They can ban firearms in the common areas, sure. But if passing through that common area is the only way to and from your domicile, then that path wouldn't be enforceable.

    The best way is to look at the CC&R's and your By-Laws to see what is already in there. Also, look at how hard it is TO get something in there. If the board can add a rule without membership input/votes, you can be screwed pretty easily.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by massivedesign View Post
    If the board can add a rule without membership input/votes, you can be screwed pretty easily.
    That's pretty much an impossibility under most Association Bylaws and State Law regulating HOA's/
    Condo Associations.

    I sat on a HOA board for a while and they aren't legally allowed to vary from the original HOA declaration and Bylaws without involvement of the members.
    Board Members can sometimes be a-holes and annoy their membership but they usually get their "you know whats" whacked pretty hard by the others when they expose the Association to legal liability. Remember, ALL the members have to pay for any damages a court may award.

    As a final note, it would pay for one to carefully read the CC'R's and Association Bylaws before buying in. It's too late to discover something you don't like and try and change it after the fact. In WA State, a copy of the CC'Rs and bylaws have to be provided a prospective purchaser in advance and with sufficient time to read, before a sale can be consummated.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Don't voluntarily live where others have that much control over that big of a portion of your life. I did it once, did not like it, won't ever do it again.

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    Regular Member massivedesign's Avatar
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    President of an HOA for the last 3 years.. Board for 6 (until last week.. FINALLY resigned, and it's already going to crap)

    While it is true that state law requires involvement of the members by default, there is no solid definition as to what that number is. I know of one HOA that can amend the By-Laws and CC&R's with a majority vote of a quorum of 10% (in person or in proxy). 250 homes, lets say 50 are in arrears, so they can't vote = 200 homes. A quorum outlined in the by-laws is 10%, so 20 people needed for quorum. All you need is 11 people to vote in favor of the change and you have it.. 11 people out of 200 that can make that change.

    Also, common areas are usually not governed under the CC&R's, and the By-Laws are just about powers and rights The board can typically create a "rule" about use of the common areas. Dog's on a leash, no open containers, no GUNS, speed limit 8mph etc.

    I agree, perform due diligence before making that choice. It looks like he already bought, so his DD period has expired. If he was not given a copy of the governing docs, then he has a legal case against the title company, not the HOA.



    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    That's pretty much an impossibility under most Association Bylaws and State Law regulating HOA's/
    Condo Associations.

    I sat on a HOA board for a while and they aren't legally allowed to vary from the original HOA declaration and Bylaws without involvement of the members.
    Board Members can sometimes be a-holes and annoy their membership but they usually get their "you know whats" whacked pretty hard by the others when they expose the Association to legal liability. Remember, ALL the members have to pay for any damages a court may award.

    As a final note, it would pay for one to carefully read the CC'R's and Association Bylaws before buying in. It's too late to discover something you don't like and try and change it after the fact. In WA State, a copy of the CC'Rs and bylaws have to be provided a prospective purchaser in advance and with sufficient time to read, before a sale can be consummated.
    Last edited by massivedesign; 05-27-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orphan View Post
    Don't voluntarily live where others have that much control over that big of a portion of your life. I did it once, did not like it, won't ever do it again.
    If you want to live in an area convenient to work and services, it's sometimes necessary to live in urban areas. Many of those areas have two kinds of properties. Well maintained by their owners who are proud of what their homes look like, and those that look like a backwoods house in Kentucky. Cars, appliances, and junk everywhere. Blue tarp on the roof to cover the damage from the 2004 windstorm, etc.

    The only way you can keep your neighborhood from looking like crap is an Association, like it or not.

    Of course one can always buy a piece of land out in the country and have enough "buffer" around them so that the neighbors collection of old broken down taxi's and ice cream trucks isn't visible to you. Great idea if you don't mind the extra time and costs associated with the "trip to town" or to work. Not practical for everyone.

    I've lived in HOA controlled areas for over 30 years. When I sold the last two times, my properties sold for far more than similar properties in non HOA areas. I guess some people do like them. As for denying constitutional rights, read some of the recent court decisions on that topic. HOA's are not superior to the Constitution.
    Last edited by amlevin; 05-28-2012 at 08:41 AM.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=amlevin;1761325].

    The only way you can keep your neighborhood from looking like crap is an Association, like it or not.

    QUOTE]

    B.S.

    Never lived in a HOA area, never will, and many are very nice areas.
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ak56;1761361]
    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    .

    The only way you can keep your neighborhood from looking like crap is an Association, like it or not.

    QUOTE]

    B.S.

    Never lived in a HOA area, never will, and many are very nice areas.
    But they can't control how often you mow your lawn and the color of your house....(sarcasm).

    HOA's are a perfect example of why we are not supposed to be a democracy.

    My HOA decided that a non vote is a yes vote in their favor......my HOA was supposed to expire in the year 2000 and then continue in 10 yr increments they just ignored that. My HOA are ran by a bunch of old retired people from Canada, and California, and other areas like Chicago. They like to schedule meetings in the middle of the day when the majority of the working people here can't attend them.

    I personally feel if they are not on your title they shouldn't have so much say in your property.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    If you want to live in an area convenient to work and services, it's sometimes necessary to live in urban areas. Many of those areas have two kinds of properties. Well maintained by their owners who are proud of what their homes look like, and those that look like a backwoods house in Kentucky. Cars, appliances, and junk everywhere. Blue tarp on the roof to cover the damage from the 2004 windstorm, etc.

    The only way you can keep your neighborhood from looking like crap is an Association, like it or not.

    Of course one can always buy a piece of land out in the country and have enough "buffer" around them so that the neighbors collection of old broken down taxi's and ice cream trucks isn't visible to you. Great idea if you don't mind the extra time and costs associated with the "trip to town" or to work. Not practical for everyone.

    I've lived in HOA controlled areas for over 30 years. When I sold the last two times, my properties sold for far more than similar properties in non HOA areas. I guess some people do like them. As for denying constitutional rights, read some of the recent court decisions on that topic. HOA's are not superior to the Constitution.
    amlevin I never mentioned HOA's being superior to the Constitution. To each his own, I simply expressed my opinion. I live out a ways on 40 acres have my own shooting range. The 20 minute drive to town is not a bother for me. Most of you that live in town spend that much time commuting the difference being I travel 18 miles in 20 minutes and you travel 5 miles in 20 minutes. Trust me when I say I am glad lots of you want to live in town the less people out here the happier we country folk are.

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    Regular Member massivedesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    My HOA decided that a non vote is a yes vote in their favor......
    I would sue the crap out of that HOA for violating many non-profit laws regarding use of Proxy.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by massivedesign View Post
    I would sue the crap out of that HOA for violating many non-profit laws regarding use of Proxy.
    My HOA played the same game, along with a few others, until I pointed out to them that regardless of what they wrote into the bylaws, State Law had something to say on what they had to do with voting.


    FWIW, most HOA "Boards" are totally unaware that they are governed by RCW 64.38 and more specifically http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=64.38.025

    Even for those that were "aware", it changed on Jan 1 of this year.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by massivedesign View Post
    I would sue the crap out of that HOA for violating many non-profit laws regarding use of Proxy.
    I'd sue them for a lot more than that if I had the money. Problem is they use our money to fight us with expensive lawyers.....
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I'd sue them for a lot more than that if I had the money. Problem is they use our money to fight us with expensive lawyers.....
    You can sue them as individuals. They cannot engage in violating the law under the name of the HOA.

    Just an FYI. When the lose they could have to forfeit their homes to reimburse the HOA's legal costs.... Just saying.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I have lived in rural areas all of my life...I would NEVER submit to other people controling what I can or cannot do with my own property, one of the reasons I won't live in town, let alone in a place with a HOA.

    I remember one gal that used to work for me. Her husband was a big wig for ATT, and also a Native American. They bought into some development down on the water in Mukilteo..they HOA tried to fine them because her husband parked his pickup truck in view of the street! Male Bovine Excretement! I park my pickup anywhere I want, I shoot in my back yard when I want, and if my neighbor does not cut his grass...well that is his problem, not mine...I can't see his grass anyway.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    I have lived in rural areas all of my life...I would NEVER submit to other people controling what I can or cannot do with my own property, one of the reasons I won't live in town, let alone in a place with a HOA.

    I remember one gal that used to work for me. Her husband was a big wig for ATT, and also a Native American. They bought into some development down on the water in Mukilteo..they HOA tried to fine them because her husband parked his pickup truck in view of the street! Male Bovine Excretement! I park my pickup anywhere I want, I shoot in my back yard when I want, and if my neighbor does not cut his grass...well that is his problem, not mine...I can't see his grass anyway.
    This.

    I just don't understand the attraction to a cookie cutter house that barely fits on its minuscule lot with a postage stamp yard, AND someone else decreeing what the "owner" may or may not do with his own property. If redneck neighbors with broke down cars on blocks and unmowed lawns are the price for residential freedom, so be it. I'll even bring the beer.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    You can sue them as individuals. They cannot engage in violating the law under the name of the HOA.

    Just an FYI. When the lose they could have to forfeit their homes to reimburse the HOA's legal costs.... Just saying.
    Sorry, but most HOA's have a hold harmless clause for their Directors. The only "loosers" will be the individual "Owners" who are all members of the HOA. A suit successful suit against the HOA means damages (and attorney fees) are paid by the rest of the HOA members in the form of an "assessment". My HOA carries an insurance policy that takes some of the risk off our shoulders if our "Board" decides to go outside the boundaries.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Regular Member massivedesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Sorry, but most HOA's have a hold harmless clause for their Directors. The only "loosers" will be the individual "Owners" who are all members of the HOA. A suit successful suit against the HOA means damages (and attorney fees) are paid by the rest of the HOA members in the form of an "assessment". My HOA carries an insurance policy that takes some of the risk off our shoulders if our "Board" decides to go outside the boundaries.
    D&O Insurance will only go so far. Negligence and knowingly making / enforcing unlawful policies will pierce that veil. That's why it's always god to either be on the board to make sure actions are being done correctly, or voice your concerns at meetings and get them in the minutes.

    My HOA is not bad at all, we are rural and our main asset is our 14 acre park with boat launch, 300' of waterfront swimming pool etc. All lots at .25 acres or more, 70-90's style ramblers and 2-story homes.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    This.

    I just don't understand the attraction to a cookie cutter house that barely fits on its minuscule lot with a postage stamp yard, AND someone else decreeing what the "owner" may or may not do with his own property. If redneck neighbors with broke down cars on blocks and unmowed lawns are the price for residential freedom, so be it. I'll even bring the beer.
    You'd understand better if you had the better part of a half million invested in your "home" and wanted to sell it at somewhere near that. It really sucks when one buys a house, even for a fraction of that, pays on the mortgage for 20 years, and then finds that the neighborhood has deteriorated so badly that the home either takes 3 years to sell, or sells for a fraction of it's equivalent value because you didn't have the ability to keep the neighborhood from turning into Tijuana North or "Dogpatch".

    To each their own. I don't mind mowing my lawn, keeping my flower beds free of weeds, and painting my house every 10-15 years.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    I have lived in rural areas all of my life...I would NEVER submit to other people controling what I can or cannot do with my own property, one of the reasons I won't live in town, let alone in a place with a HOA.

    I remember one gal that used to work for me. Her husband was a big wig for ATT, and also a Native American. They bought into some development down on the water in Mukilteo..they HOA tried to fine them because her husband parked his pickup truck in view of the street! Male Bovine Excretement! I park my pickup anywhere I want, I shoot in my back yard when I want, and if my neighbor does not cut his grass...well that is his problem, not mine...I can't see his grass anyway.
    This was what I was talking about earlier.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    You'd understand better if you had the better part of a half million invested in your "home" and wanted to sell it at somewhere near that. It really sucks when one buys a house, even for a fraction of that, pays on the mortgage for 20 years, and then finds that the neighborhood has deteriorated so badly that the home either takes 3 years to sell, or sells for a fraction of it's equivalent value because you didn't have the ability to keep the neighborhood from turning into Tijuana North or "Dogpatch".

    To each their own. I don't mind mowing my lawn, keeping my flower beds free of weeds, and painting my house every 10-15 years.
    This rarely happens, most people who can afford a half million for a home live in neighborhoods, with other people who afford half a million for their homes.

    The major push for and supporter of HOA's are real estate agencies most people who live in them are not happy with them.

    I have seen bad neighborhoods turn into nice ones without HOA's but by people buying cheap homes because of location and fixing them up. Haven't really seen the opposite happen except in Paradise Valley, but once the HOA was dismantled, a few years later people who can afford the lots and houses have turned that place around and it is a lot better place to live in than when it was an HOA. So the HOA could have been the major contribution to why the neighbor hood went down hill. Sudden Valley has a lower value in home prices because people don't want to buy into their HOA. So you have to lower the price enough for people to want to buy into it.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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