On Friday, May 15th, Governor Jay Inslee extended Proclamation 20-51. The Proclamation, previously set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 17, 2020 has been extended to expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2020. The Proclamation directly impacts community associations and their ability to process delinquencies, charge violation fines, and their ability to meet remotely and vote by mail or electronically. Trestle will continue to take the below steps, as previously outlined in its April 22, 2020 announcement.
Delinquencies, Late Fees, and Interest Charges
Under the Proclamation, community associations may not assess late fees or interest on any delinquent accounts during the effective period of April 17, 2020 – May 31, 2020. Accounts which have reached the end of a community association’s collection policy and are scheduled to be referred to an attorney for further action may still be referred to the attorney.
During the effective period of the Proclamation, Trestle will issue statements to notify past due owners of their status in an effort to encourage payment but will not assess late fees or interest. Furthermore, Trestle will not advance a delinquency beyond its state as of April 17, 2020. Issuing statements will allow associations to resume their standard delinquency policy and advance delinquencies from their prior status after the end of the Proclamation’s effective period.
In addressing additional charges to owner accounts, the Proclamation also indicates that no compliance enforcement fines may be levied during the effective period of April 17, 2020 – May 31, 2020. During the effective period of the Proclamation, Trestle will continue to perform inspections, unless requested otherwise. At this time, Trestle is only issuing notices for projects which an owner could perform on their own, such as lawn maintenance. Trestle is not issuing notices for high budget items, such as painting, which may require an outside vendor. In order to ensure adherence to the Proclamation, Trestle will not assess fines during the effective period.
Remote Meetings, Mail and Electronic Voting
Previously, several RCWs allowed for remote meetings and mail and electronic voting if not restricted within a community’s governing documents. The Proclamation strikes all mention of an association’s governing documents in relation to meeting and voting restrictions. As a result, if an association’s governing documents prohibit remote meetings, mail or electronic voting, the association may proceed with the meetings or voting during the effective period of the Proclamation. It is useful to note, however, that the Proclamation does not alter meeting notice requirements. As most communities must provide 10 – 14 days’ notice prior to a meeting, there is a very small window of time to provide notice and hold a meeting during the effective period of the Proclamation. Trestle provides remote meeting services and can assist any client in holding a meeting via video or telephone conference. Board Members are encouraged to contact their Community Association Manager for assistance should they wish to proceed with a meeting, or mail or electronic voting at this time.