Legal Resources

HOAs: Amending Restrictive Covenants to Ban Short-Term Rentals

By Katie Chapman

Members of a homeowners association (HOA) may amend restrictive covenants to ban short-term rental activity if existing covenants authorize amendments by majority vote, and the short-term rental ban relates to an existing rental covenant. However, unanimous consent of the homeowners will be required if the proposed short-term rental ban does not relate to an existing covenant and the restrictive covenants do not specifically authorize the creation of new covenants by majority vote. The Washington Supreme Court discussed the distinction between adopting new covenants and amending existing covenants in Wilkinson v. Chiwawa Communities Ass’n, 180 Wn.2d 241 (2014), and ruled that a short-term rental ban adopted by majority vote was not enforceable.