Condominiums in the greater Seattle area should provide shelter from wind and rain, and should protect occupants against the risk of harm from earthquakes and fires. Building codes, published standards of good workmanship, and installation instructions form the manufacturers of building products provide detailed instructions regarding how to build a weatherproof, safe, quality, building that will stand the test of time.

Unfortunately, condominium buildings often do not comply with these standards. Once construction is complete, most of the important weatherproofing materials and workmanship are hidden from view and cannot be observed without removing the exterior siding.

A purchaser of a unit in a condominium complex may not realize that he or she is purchasing a share of common ownership of the roofs, framing, windows, and siding in all six buildings. Purchasers of condominium units generally are not in a position to perform an inspection of all buildings in the condominium complex. Nor would it make economic sense for each purchaser of a unit to pay for a separate intrusive inspection of each building.

On July 1, 2018, the Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (WUCIOA) went to effect. The WUCIOA is comprehensive legislation which will apply to many types of common interest communities, including condominiums, homeowner associations, and real estate cooperatives.

Condominiums created after June 30, 2018, will be governed exclusively by the provisions of the WUCIOA. Condominiums created before July 1, 2018 will be governed by the Washington Condominium Act unless those condominiums amend their governing documents to bring their community entirely under the authority of the WUCIOA.

​The prior Washington Condominium Act provided each unit purchaser with strong warranty rights that require the declarant to pay for the cost of repairing construction defects. These warranty rights usually expired four years form the date when the first unit was sold, even if the unit purchasers were unaware of the construction defects until later. Because most construction defects are hidden and unknown during the first four years, unit owners must conduct an intrusive investigation in order to protect their warranty rights.

While there has not yet been any case law determining the impact of WUCIOA on the warranty rights of associations and unit owners, we believe that the warranty rights of associations and unit owners are still protected and that construction defect actions are still a viable means recovering for defective construction.

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what our clients' say

Monaco Villas

My Homeowners Association worked with the Stein, Sudweeks & Stein firm in an attempt to recover for water intrusion behind our building’s siding. Stein, Sudweeks & Stein first helped identify all of our historical insurance companies (going back to the 1980s), evaluated their responsibilities, then submitted claims and sued the insurance companies that would not cooperate. The firm worked diligently to maximize recovery for our Association. I would highly recommend these attorneys.

- Ben Former Board Member Monaco Villa

Woodlake Condominium Association

My Association contacted Stein, Sudweeks & Stein after receiving a water-damage investigation report calling for repair of all the balconies in our community. Daniel Stein worked with us to identify the historical insurers of our Association and then sought recovery from those property insurance companies on our behalf. We are very satisfied with the outcome of our case. We highly recommend these attorneys.

- Carol Former Board President, Woodlake Condominium Association

510 Ward Street Condominium Association

An intrusive investigation revealed big problems for our small Association. Stein, Sudweeks & Stein helped our Association find missing insurance policies; answer insurance company examination under oaths; and guided us through both the claims process and litigation. Our Association ultimately recovered about 90% of the repair cost. We want to thank Stein,Sudweeks & Stein for helping us to obtain this great recovery.

- Ingrid, Board President 510 Ward Street Condominium Association

Eastbridge Condominium Association

Even though our property was 30 years old (124 condo units), at the time we won a settlement from both insurance companies that helped us start a 5 million dollar repair project.

- Zoe Allen Eastbridge Condominium Association

Bellevue Manor Condominium Association

Knowing how long law suits take, we thought it would take years for our case to resolve. Fortunately for us, we hired the right attorneys (for our collapse coverage case against insurance companies). If you are looking for trustworthy professionals who can deliver great results in a relatively short period of time- look no further!

- Dmitry Litvinov Bellevue Manor Condominium Association

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