Washington

Washington Annual General Meeting Requirements for Condos, Co-Ops, and HOAs

Scheduling an annual meeting can be difficult for a homeowners association. Choosing a date that is convenient for everyone is impossible. Board members may become frustrated with the lack of participation by members. Quorum problems could also be a recurring issue. Is there a better way to hold annual meetings?

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Population

7,614,893

Housing Units

3,195,004

Owner Occupied

63%

Associations

10,475

Simplify Your Board Meetings in Washington With BuildingBoard

BuildingBoard has a better way to hold your board meetings and annual meetings. Through our online platform, your members and directors attend live meetings. They can participate and vote just as if they were at the meeting in person. The platform is easy to use and does not require the person to download apps or software.

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Risks of Missing a Quorum in Washington

Missing a quorum in Washington can be a headache. It can also be time-consuming and costly. You cannot conduct any business, and you must reschedule and re-notice the meeting. Moreover, there is no guarantee that you will have a quorum at the rescheduled meeting, creating even more problems. 

Allowing members to attend the meetings virtually can resolve issues with quorums in the future.

Annual General Meeting Requirements

The annual meeting is held to conduct business that impacts the entire community. However, these meetings may also provide owners and shareholders the opportunity to voice concerns or issues.

Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act

The Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act governs owners associations organized under RCW 64.90.400. Applicable provisions of the Act that apply to annual meetings include, but are not limited to:

  • A meeting of the association must be held at least once per year.
  • Notice of the annual meeting must be given at least 14 days before, but not more than 50 days before, the meeting date.
  • Unless otherwise provided by the organizational documents, twenty percent of the votes in the association count as a quorum.
  • Members may be present in person, proxy, or absentee ballot for a quorum. 
  • Votes at a meeting may be held by a show of hands, voice vote, standing, written ballot, or another method designated by the person presiding at the meeting.

Virtual meetings are permitted by the Act, as discussed in the virtual meetings section below.

Washington Condominium Act

The Washington Condominium Act applies to condominiums organized under the act or subject to the act. Applicable provisions of the Act that apply to annual meetings include, but are not limited to:

  • A meeting of the association must be held at least once per year.
  • Notice of the meeting must be given not more than 50 days before, but at least 14 days before, the meeting date.
  • A quorum is present if 25% of the votes of the association are present in proxy or in person at the beginning of the meeting, unless the bylaws specify a larger percentage. 
  • Unit owners may vote in person, by absentee ballot, or by proxy at annual meetings. Voting by ballot is permitted when a vote is conducted without a meeting.

Virtual meetings are permitted as described in the section below for virtual annual meetings.

Washington Horizontal Property Regimes Act

The Horizontal Property Regimes Act governs horizontal property regimes (condos) that expressly elect to be governed by the Act by filing a Master Deed. The chapter does not apply to all common interest communities as specified in RCW 64.32.260.

The Act does not discuss quorums or annual meetings. However, most association bylaws, articles, or declarations require annual meetings. Voting is discussed in RCW 64.32.280. Unit owners may vote in person, by absentee ballot, or by proxy.

Co-Ops & Other

Washington Cooperative Associations

The Cooperative Association Act does not explicitly discuss annual meetings of members. However, the bylaws should specify the requirements for meetings. It does discuss voting and quorums.

Members are entitled to one vote on each matter unless enlarged, limited, or denied by the articles or bylaws. Members may vote by mail, in person, electronic transmission, or by proxy, unless otherwise stated in the articles or bylaws. 

A quorum is 25% of the total membership votes unless otherwise provided by statute, bylaws, or the articles of incorporation. 

Washington Limited Cooperative Associations

A limited cooperation association may be organized under the Washington Limited Cooperative Associations Act for any lawful purpose, except as related to electric energy. Applicable provisions of the Act that apply to annual meetings include, but are not limited to:

  • Members are to meet annually.
  • Notice of the annual meeting must be given at least ten days but not more than 120 days before the meeting.
  • A quorum equals the voting members present at a meeting, unless otherwise provided in the organic rules.
  • Unless the organic rules provide otherwise, voting by proxy is prohibited at members’ meetings. However, this provision does not prohibit delegate voting based on class or district.

Virtual meetings are permitted, as discussed below in the virtual meetings section.

The Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act

Many homeowners associations are organized as nonprofit corporations. If so, they would also be governed by the Nonprofit Corporation Act. Applicable provisions of the Act that apply to annual meetings include, but are not limited to (NOTE: Some provisions are in effect until January 1, 2022):

  • An annual meeting of members is to be held at the time stated in the bylaws.
  • Notice of an annual meeting must be given at least ten days but not more than 50 days before the meeting.
  • Voting may be in person or by proxy, electronic transmission, or mail, if authorized by the articles of incorporation or bylaws. 
  • A quorum equals members holding one-tenth of the votes entitled to be cast on a matter present in person or by proxy at a meeting, unless otherwise provided by the articles or bylaws.

Virtual meetings are permitted under the Nonprofit Corporation Act, as discussed in the next section.

Virtual Annual Meetings in Washington

The following association statutes discuss virtual annual meetings:

The Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act in §64.90.445 states that meetings of unit owners may be held by video, telephonic, or another conferencing process, provided that the bylaws or articles do not prohibit the process. Board meetings may also be held through a conferencing process. 

Section 64.34.332 of the Condominium Act states that annual meetings may be held through conferencing, including telephone and video, if not restricted by the articles, bylaws, or declaration. The meeting notice must state the conferencing process to be used and explain how the unit owners may participate. In addition, the process must allow unit owners to participate in the live meeting. 

The Horizontal Property Regimes Act in RCW 64.32.280 states that owners’ meetings may be held by telephonic, video, or other conferencing unless prohibited by the articles, declaration, or bylaws. The meeting notice must state how to access the conferencing process, and the members must be able to participate in the live meeting. 

The Limited Cooperative Association Act states in RCW 23.100.0406 the association may permit any or all members to participate in the annual meeting by use of remote communication, unless prohibited by the organizational documents. The remote communication must conform to the requirements in the statute.

Section 24.03.075 is in effect until January 1, 2022. It states that unless the bylaws or articles restrict remote meetings, the annual meeting of members can be held by conference telephone or similar communication equipment. Everyone must be able to participate in the live meeting. 

Hold Your Washington Annual Board Meetings Virtually with BuildingBoard

BuildingBoard is easy to use, convenient, and avoids problems reaching quorums. Schedule your meeting, invite members via email, and conduct the vote on the day of the meeting. Your members vote via their smartphone or computer.

Are you ready to simply your annual meetings? Contact BuildingBoard to learn more about our services and to schedule a demo.

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