On April 17, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee signed Proclamation 20-51. This Proclamation directly impacts community associations and their ability process delinquencies, charge violation fines, and their ability to meet remotely and vote by mail or electronically. At this time, the Proclamation is effective April 17, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on May 17, 2020. Trestle has summarized each change and the steps it is taking to ensure compliance with the Proclamation below.
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 17, 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.
Assessment due dates vary among communities but are typically the 10th, 15th or 25th day of the month. In advance of the Proclamation effective date, Trestle processed delinquencies and fees were charged for all client associations with due dates of April 10th or April 15th ; these clients are therefore in compliance with the requirements.
During the effective period of the Proclamation, Trestle announced that it 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 advised that it 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 17, 2020. For communities in which it provides compliance services, Trestle will continue performing regular inspections and issuing enforcement notices as allowed by the Proclamation. During the effective period of the Proclamation, Trestle will only issuing notices for projects which an owner could perform on their own, such as lawn maintenance. At this time, 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.